The importance of education in Ghana has always been emphasized by the public, particularly when it comes to the country’s villages and hinterlands.
His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the President of the Republic of Ghana, was recently shamed on social media after saying in a viral video that “no one goes into teaching in any area of the globe to become a millionaire.”
Kennedy Hatekah, a teacher on Facebook, has used the platform to discuss how pupils and teachers struggle to get to school on a regular basis.
According to him, housing and power are unavailable in the town where he was assigned to teach, therefore teachers who work at the school reside in a neighboring hamlet that is more than one (1) kilometer away and commute to the school on foot every day.
According to him, a river separates the two communities. As a result, the only way to get to either of them is to use a boat or a severely damaged footbridge.
The teacher also noted that during the rainy season, when the river floods, the footbridge is no longer an option, forcing people to use the boat, putting their lives in danger.
Kennedy explains in his letter that his school does not have a Junior High School (JHS), which means that Basic six pupils who are due for JHS must walk the 1km journey every day to the community where he resides, or use a canoe or a deteriorating wooden footbridge.
He also noted that where he teaches, there are only four teachers who are responsible for eight classes, therefore they are unable to establish a Junior High School at their school rather than enabling students to cross the river to a nearby school.
Mr. Kennedy Hatekah teaches in one of the schools in the Keta Municipality of the Volta Region’s hinterlands, according to our investigation.
The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), the country’s largest teachers’ union, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of Ghana (GoG) in August 2020, establishing a new condition of service for teachers across the country.
The aforementioned condition of service, which was supposed to go into effect in January 2021, offers some good news for teachers, including allowances for instructors in hard-to-reach communities, permanent posting allowances, and transfer allowances.
However, as of June 2021, no one provision of the Memo has been implemented, and both the teaching unions and the government are keeping quiet about it.