Shift focus from individual awards on World Teachers’ Day - An educationist advises government
The Chairman of Lower Manya Krobo Teachers’ Welfare Fund of the Ghana Education Service (GES), Ebenezer Kwaku Fenuku, has called on the government to shift focus and attention from individual award of teachers on World Teachers’ Day to a more comprehensive and systemic change in favour of the teachers.
He said it was time for governments to prioritise the financial well-being of all teachers, ensuring that teachers could retire on their salaries with the dignity they deserved.
peaking to the Daily Graphic at the sidelines of the World Teachers’ Day celebration at Odumase-Krobo, Mr Fenuku said when teachers were well treated by way of good salaries, the government, for that matter the Ministry of Education and the GES, were not only honouring and retaining educators in the service but also strengthening the foundation of our education systems for the generations to come.
“In the perspective of World Teachers’ Day, I extend my heartfelt congratulations to each award winner, and more importantly, the overall award winner, for your exceptional contributions to education in Ghana.
“Your dedication, passion and unwavering commitment to shaping the minds of the next generation have not only enriched the lives of your pupils/students but have also made a lasting impact on our nation,” Mr Fenuku emphasised.
He, however, said in the light of growing concerns regarding the financial stability and retirement readiness of educationists, he was compelled to advocate for a fundamental shift in the approach to celebrating and supporting educators in Ghana.
He explained that rather than singling out a few teachers as “best teachers” and showering them with accolades, he sincerely believed it was essential to prioritise the broader issue of improving the current state of teachers’ salaries and ensuring that all teachers could retire on their salaries with financial security and dignity.
Need for systemic change
Explaining the need for systemic change, Mr Fenuku said many teachers across the length and breadth of the country faced financial struggles throughout their teaching careers, which only intensified as they approached retirement.
“Singling out a few teachers as “best” creates disparities among them.
It can foster a sense of competition rather than collaboration and diminish the collective efforts of all teachers who work tirelessly to educate our children.
Collective recognition and comprehensive approach should be seriously considered by any government in power concerning teachers,” he added.
Mr Fenuku said as much as he lauded governments for honouring few teachers on World Teachers’ Day, he suggested that governments should consider fair compensation that would ensure that teachers received competitive salaries commensurate with their contributions to society to motivate those in the service and inspire a host of others to join the service.