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Opinions of Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Columnist: Dahamani, Milicent

Teacher recruits dying of hunger and anger in east Mamprusi

It is amazing how we blame politicians for every misfortune we encounter in our lives. Most often, these blames we place on politicians can best be blamed on negligent and incompetent civil servants than politicians. I don’t see why you should blame a politician if as a teacher your district Director of Education who has oversight responsibility of everything education in the district fails to do his/her work, including making sure that inputs of newly recruited teachers are processed early enough for them to begin receiving their salaries. This is unfortunately the case in my district, the East Mamprusi district of the northern region of Ghana.

For almost two years that the district directorate appointed pupil teachers, they have not done anything about processing their salaries. Sadly enough, they have not even communicated a word to these teachers to explain the delays if there are any such reasons. Whenever these teachers even make an attempt to enquire from the IPPD officer the status of their appointment and document processing, he becomes his snobbish best and either avoid them without a word or harshly and impolitely give them a cheeky and annoying response.
Things have now gotten out of hand since the IPPD officer no longer stays in the district. The IPPD officer has vacated post for further studies even though he has not resigned and still acts as such. One may wonder what then the government is paying the IPPD man for since his role is to facilitate the processing of workers’ salaries which he wantonly ignores with snobbish impunity. For the district Director of Education, we only blame her for not supervising her subordinates to do the right thing. She began quite well and has been performing well with regards to visiting schools and making sure that teachers are in their classrooms. We only wonder why she cannot transfer that zeal to also make sure that people employed and indeed seated right in her noses everyday perform their duties to get what is due to the teachers to them.

We have kept quiet for a long time and will not tolerate any further delays in our salaries. We cannot blame the minister of education or that of finance for not paying us. Our enemies are just next door. However, we are appealing to the powers that be to come to our aid. This is an SOS message we are sending out to the powers above our district officers to call them to do the right thing. All pupil teachers in neighboring districts who were employed at about the same time as ours or even later have had their names mechanized and they are now enjoying their salaries. We are still to have staff identification numbers and indeed our Director confessed to us last Friday that she does not even know where our documents have gotten to, and like I stated earlier the IPPD man was not in his office to tell us.

This is the seventeenth month of our employment and we have since been at post but the Director and his IPPD man have denied us our salaries. It is even too painful to think that the government will only pay three months arrears of all the months we have worked and continue to work for the GES and of course the state. We are once again appealing to the powers that be to come to our aid on humanitarian grounds. We are starving and our parents are becoming desolate and angrier with us every passing day for no fault of ours.

Workers on payroll keep complaining of the hardships they go through. One can imagine someone who is also giving the same service or even better and is not enjoying the fruits of his or her labor for almost two years. Most of us do not stay in the villages we were posted to teach in. We board buses to these villages every day for the last seventeen months. Some who are fortunate to have motorbikes in their families will also have to fuel these bikes to and from work. Those that stay at their places of work have to rent accommodation, feed themselves and incur other expenses such as buying mattresses, lamps, batteries etc to fulfill their part of the contract with the state. However, employees of the state are doing nothing about their welfare.

It has never been our intention to let the world know of the rot in GES-Gambaga but if doing so will be the panacea to our problems we welcome it whole-heartedly. A hungry man is, and has always been an angry man. We are now willing to invite even the devil to dinner if he has the solution to our problems. Mr. Rashid the IPPD officer has made us useless, despondent, angry and vengeful. He has treated us with disdain for far too long without caution from his superiors which is why we are not absolving them of the blame.


Writer: Milicent Dahamani, for Hungrily-Angry Teachers in East Mamprusi.