11.05.2005 Regional News

Reverse the sinking image of teachers - MP

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Accra, May 11, GNA - Mr Stephen Kunsu, NDC MP for Kintampo North Constituency, has called on the Government to help to reverse the sinking image of the Ghanaian teacher since they played an indispensable and pivotal role in the manpower and human resource development of the country.

He said teachers were the catalysts through which any educational reforms could be implemented since they were "the heart of every nation."

Mr Kunsu said this in a statement he made on the floor of the House on Wednesday on the plight of teachers and the way forward.

"It is against this background that the plight of teachers should be an issue of great concern to all Ghanaians like in other advanced countries where teachers are held in high esteem." He said "it is pathetic to know that some of the nation's important personalities had been teachers before and are aware of the risk and difficulties teachers go through, but they tend to forget the plight and the terrible conditions teachers go through when they are no more in the profession.

"The image of the Ghanaian teachers has sunk so low in recent times and requires an SOS approach to salvage it from the doldrums and rehabilitate it.

"Some people regard teaching as a mediocre occupation hence students, who fail to get admission into other tertiary institutions enter training colleges as a last resort."

Mr Kunsu also mentioned some of the problems teachers encountered in their jobs as the lack of decent accommodation and means of transport and late payment of salaries.

He suggested to the Government that these problems and that of risk allowance and scholarships be looked into and addressed. Mr Ofosu Asamoah, NPP MP for Kade, who commented on the statement, expressed contrary view and said the teachers' image and conditions had improved tremendously.

He said teachers were now getting rewards for the good jobs they had been doing and mentioned cars and houses they had been getting as awards for being best teachers in the country and in their respective regions and communities.

Mr Asamoah said it was not only teachers who got low risk allowances but other organisations like the Police and the Ghana National Fire Service did not receive any high allowances. Mr Alex Tettey-Enyo, NDC MP for Ada, urged the Government to pursue the proposals raised in the budget statement to alleviate the problems and the working conditions of teachers.

He also mentioned housing and transportation as the major problems facing teachers posted to remote areas and suggested the setting up of a committee by the Ghana Education Service to discuss and address the problems quickly instead of waiting for the problems to compound.

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