From time immemorial, the development process in our country has been skewed in favour of the urban areas. As a result, good roads, good schools, potable water, efficient electricity supply and recreational facilities are all sited in the cities and towns.
For those who live in the rural areas, it is a nightmare to attempt to live above the poverty line. Some even have the erroneous impression that since the improved social services are located in the urban centres, there will be no traces of poverty in those areas.
However, urban poverty is one of the major impediments in the way of the government’s efforts to improve standards of living, and like any emerging community in a developing country, urban centres in Ghana have their fair share of less- endowed suburbs.
Serious development challenges are noticeable in the rural areas and many professionals have used the deprivation as an excuse to refuse posting to those deprived areas.
It has not been possible over the years to provide incentive packages that will motivate teachers and health professionals to accept posting to the rural areas, although governments have, over the years, expressed the intention to do so.
The DAILY GRAPHIC, therefore, commends the government for its bold decision to give 20 per cent allowance to teachers who accept posting to deprived communities in the country.
The Minister of Education, Mr Alex Tettey-Enyo, who made this known at the 2009 National Education Sector Annual Review in Accra yesterday, said the initiative, which was aimed at addressing the disparity in teacher distribution to attract teachers to deprived parts of the country, would be implemented in the next financial year.
It is our hope that teachers will recognise the gesture by the government as a major step in boosting their morale and accept to serve in deprived communities where the bulk of the national wealth is produced.
Standards are falling in most of our educational institutions, especially those in the rural areas because teacher distribution is skewed in favour of the urban centres.
In this knowledge based era when the best path to progress is the creation of more opportunities for skills acquisition, the practical option is for the country to make the teaching profession more attractive.
We need more committed teachers to help to provide our youth with skills that will help them to contribute more positively to the development of our society.
The DAILY GRAPHIC also calls on the educational authorities to work out the modalities for the implementation of the new policy with dispatch so that the high expectations of the teachers are not dashed as a result of unnecessary bureaucracy.
We also urge society to revisit the so-called good old days when teachers were recognised by the people as major change agents.
We, however, call on teachers to eschew negative practices such as drunkenness, absenteeism and other bad habits so that we can celebrate teachers’ contribution to national development.
This honour will be society’s acknowledgement of the dictum, “If you can read this, thank a teacher”. The DAILY GRAPHIC hopes that the initiative by the government will provide better incentives for teachers and set the tone for improvement in educational standards in all rural public schools.
We urge the government to extend the motivation scheme to cover other professionals such as nurses and doctors whose services are required to update living conditions in the countryside.