16.06.2004 General News

Hundreds of teachers head for China?

By Chronicle
Hundreds of teachers head for China?
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... Chinese official confirms need ... But denies issuance of visa THE ATTENTION of the education authorities in the country has been diverted by yet another problem with the potential of jeopardizing the sector.

Current measures being embarked upon by the government of the People's Republic of China to improve upon the low literacy rate in that country and the consequent demand for more professional teachers from around the globe, may soon spell the doom of Ghana's education sector, as hundreds of the nation's professional teachers leave for the Asian country.

The Chronicle's intelligence reports indicated that for the past couple of months, hundreds of professional teachers had left the shores of this country to take up new appointments in the densely populated Asian country.

Available statistics on education in China show a low literacy rate and a recent document issued by the China Radio International (CRI); titled “Facts About China” indicated that the Chinese authorities were currently embarking on massive restructuring of the education sector to improve literacy levels.

Investigations carried out so far show that hundreds of teachers from this country have since arrived in China, while others were still processing their documents to enable them board China-bound flights, sooner than later.

Credible sources have it that the teachers, through the support of the various local travel and tour agencies, embark upon the Chinese journey by several routes, before finally landing at their dreamland.

As part of the paper's monitoring on the issue, it was further gathered that, the media, particularly the electronic ones, had been laden with advertisements from the travel and tour firms to keep more teachers informed about the opportunity to continue their career in China where remuneration is said to be comparatively lucrative.

When contacted, an official at the Chinese Embassy in Accra, who was introduced to this reporter as the Ambassador Secretary at the Embassy, confirmed that his home country was currently requiring the services of professional teachers.

“Yes, China needs teachers but before one would be allowed to go to China, there are certain procedures that must be adhered to,” the embassy official told The Chronicle.

On whether the Embassy had so far issued visas to a number of Ghanaian teachers to enable them travel to China, to continue their services there, the ambassador secretary said,“ we have not issued any visas to your teachers,” and before further questions could be asked, the official said “ this is all that I can tell you on the matter please,” and hung up.

Subsequent attempts to speak to the Secretary on the same line (021-761133) were unsuccessful, as he would not continue the interview with this reporter.

Meanwhile, a number of teachers who were contacted to find out why there was such a sudden exodus to China by their colleagues pointed out that the whole problem was to be blamed on poor conditions of service for teachers in Ghana.

Among the issues raised by the teachers to describe the poor service conditions were, low salaries and the current amount of ¢25,000 being medical allowance for teachers, which was described as a laughable amount.

Most of the teachers did not hide their feelings and pointed out that they were also preparing seriously to acquire the necessary documents that would enable them embark on the journey to China.

The teachers warned that if immediate steps were not taken by the government to improve upon the conditions of service of Ghanaian teachers, the exodus of teachers might surpass the current number of health workers who leave the country for greener pastures.

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