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23.10.2018 Opinion

Trained Teachers Are Still Unemployed

...A Bitter Open letter to President Akufo-Addo
By Ekow Paintsil Djan
President Nana Akufo- Addo
LISTEN OCT 23, 2018

Dear Sir,
Kindly accept my greetings as I write this open letter to you on unemployment related issues of teacher trainees.

I first and foremost inform your High Office that sixteen thousand (16,000) Trained Teachers have not been employed by your Government. Browsing the internet, I came across one popular post by social media users; ‘NABCO teachers are going to the classrooms directly and trained teachers were asked to write licensure exams. SAY NO TO TRAMADOL!’

People are arguing their points on the grounds that it is an ‘abuse of tramadol’ that will force Authorities to take such a decision. Sir, I cannot, at this moment accept or deny such claim but I will go ahead and state my personal opinion. We all know the negative effects of Tramadol abuse but thankfully, Nana Aba Anamoah, through her campaign is gradually dealing with this menace.

Yes! Trained teachers have written and passed all their thirty-eight (38) papers back in college. Licensure Examination was introduced by the National Teaching Council this very year (2018) claiming that will render them more ‘Professionals’. Most students were agitating that it was an attempt by Government to deliberately deny trained teachers of employment.

Your Educational Ministers and the National Teaching Council refuted this claim. Here we are today, getting to end of year, Licensure Examination results are even yet to be released for postings. Everything confirm the fact that, Your Excellency, your government deliberately introduced the examination to deny Sixteen thousand candidates from Colleges of Education employment.

Without any form of fear, your government, consciously or unconsciously failed to plan and think ahead as far as Licensing and employment of trained teachers are concerned. I don’t think anyone in his right senses will employ an Engineer into the hospital to conduct surgeries on human beings. Why then should a person with Human Resource background be enrolled on to NABCO to teach while the trained teacher stays at home? ...well!

Sir, as much as I agree licensing of teachers is good, your government forcefully implemented licensure examination to either reduce employment or deny the entire newly trained teachers their permanent jobs. I have no doubt that my year group would be the first and only group to write such an examination. Our juniors back in college are not ready to write any examination from National Teaching Council. They know only University of Cape Coast to be the affiliate institution that conducts examination for colleges of education students.

But Sir, I am sorry to say that efficient running of Colleges of Education is not only about paying Ghc 200 allowances for the fellow to later stay home unemployed. If your government thinks it is about paying allowances in college and later render them jobless, then kindly take your allowance back. We were not sleeping with empty stomachs when the allowances were taken off. We were happy with our Ghc 560 feeding grants that were given to us at the end of the semester. At least our employment was never a problem! Teachers never sat at home till this time of year without us knowing our districts of services.

Surprisingly, it appears President Akufo-Addo and his educational appointees have soon forgotten about the massive endorsement Trainee teachers, nurses and college of health students gave to them prior to the 2016 general elections. We wholeheartedly voted for you for better lives not unemployment. Today, the over 60,000 trainee teachers are disappointed despite the payment of Ghc 200 allowances. The over 80,000 trainee nurses are also disappointed despite their Ghc 400 allowances. We are bitter for your inability to employ us despite all the sweet promises you made to us. If you care to know the consequences of these actions and inactions, pick your mobile phone and make a call to President Mahama. He is yet to recover from the shock that visited him as a result of electoral defeat.

Your Excellency, God uses trainees to make and unmake Kings. Never take us for granted, Nana.

And, oh, before I sign out, National Teaching Council (NTC) is telling us that before the Court gives its ruling on a case that it (court) is yet to even sit on, they (NTC) are not releasing licensure examination results right?

This country is full of inconsistencies; there is a case in the Supreme Court preventing the President from nominating a new Electoral Chairperson after the dismissal of Madam Charlotte Osei. Let me ask this; did the President not go ahead to appoint Madam Jean Mensah as new EC Boss? What about Mr. Martin A.B.K Amidu the Special Prosecutor? Is there not a court suit preventing his appointment? It’s a pity!

As the Chief Employer, Sir, we newly trained teachers are patiently waiting for you to employ us.

We still remember the promises the Vice President gave us at the Flagstaff regarding our postings. Not forgetting that of the Minister for Education, Minister of State in Charge of Tertiary education, the Deputy Director General of GES in charge of Academics, the Executive Secretary of NTC etc...

But just a quick reminder, Your Excellency, the Spirit of Student Revolutionism and Actvism is not totally dead. We have heard a lot about you. Especially in 1995 when you led the Kum Preko Demo to fight for what you believed was right. It may repeat itself in 2018. This time at the Seat of Government¬

Thank you
Ekow Paintsil Djan
The writer is the Immediate Past Deputy General Secretary of the Teacher Trainees’ Association of Ghana (TTAG) and a Newly Trained teacher.

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