Every year on October 5, since 1994, has been set aside to commemorate the anniversary of the adoption of the 1966 International Labour Organisation (ILO)/ United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recommendation concerning the status of teachers.
The theme of this year's event "Teachers: Leading in crisis, reimagining the future". The day every year, provides an occasion all over the globe to celebrate the contribution of teachers to the socio-economic development of nations.
Teachers, do not only impact knowledge, but they act in most cases in place of parents, it is the reason why, this newspaper join the calls for governments to take a second look at the remuneration and the overall welfare of teachers.
Education is the best leveler, no nation can achieve the target of leaving no one behind, when the teachers, who are at the hearts of that call, are treated as though they don't matter.
The maxim that, the reward of the teacher is in heaven is no longer acceptable. Teaching profession should no longer be seen as a charity work, where they are expected to accept pittance as salary.
They deserve an honest pay for their honest work. The outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, nicknamed Covid-19, has added to the plight of teachers, who are already overburdened. They had to improvise in the midst of limited resources, in order to provide remote learning with the use of the internet to reach as many students as possible.
Their working condition is nothing to write home about, as even the poor wages are paid months in arrears if at all. Part of the problem is the low budgetary provision for the education sector which, we insist, deserves to be improved upon. The legacy arrears owed them, is yet to be settled.
Their counterparts in the privates sector, since the outbreak and with the closure of schools, have not received their salary.
Private schools, have complained that the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), which is responsible for distributing the GH¢1 billion COVID-19 stimulus package instituted by the government of Ghana, to small businesses and enterprises, has not treated them well.
According to the National Communication Director of the Ghana Council for Private Schools, Mr. Samuel Nyamekye, some schools, got as low as GH¢2,000 and GH¢3,000 although the applied for GH¢150,000.
Their counterparts in the public sector barely fared better. This was even as they continued to innovate on how to keep the pupils and students busy deploying online facilities.
In our considered opinion that the lessons of COVID-19, will not be lost on the authorities regarding the urgency of upgrading not just the infrastructure in the education sector, but also the working conditions of the teachers themselves. It is something that must be done and expeditiously too.
Ayekoo to our teachers for the years of sacrifice.