There Goes My Teacher – Poem By Elorm Nunana Billy-Awittor

There goes my teacher,
The one who brought us up by hand,
His steps are as sure as Afadjato
And his movements as graceful as an eagle’s.
There he goes with his wonderful book
Smiling brightly and ready to serve.

There goes my teacher,
The mastermind,
His body beams radiant energy
And his mind floods with amazing knowledge.
There he goes, his chalk ever ready,
To the classroom
Where eager students await his impacting lessons.

There goes my teacher,
His ways much like the resolute farmer
Who patiently tends fertile and non -fertile soil alike.
He strives to enrich them with his wit and craft,
And plants the seeds that ’ll surely bloom.

There goes my teacher,
The skillful builder and master smith
Whose hardwork restores the nation’ s hopes.
There he goes laying bricks of discipline
Bonded together with the mortar of correction.
His sweat truly forges us
Into men and women of integrity.

There goes my teacher,
The humble one, the suffering one
Whose back is as solid as a mountain
Never aching for a minute.
There he goes lowering himself like steps
In great sacrifice, while others climb to glory.

There goes my teacher
The most disdained of all workers.
Yea, foolish youth call him “common chalk holder”
Yet his chalk builds their future,
Each stroke lays one more brick.

There goes my teacher
Though great yet a beggar
He begs not for favour or for waiver only for some of life’s little comforts:
a roof over the family’s head good food to keep body and soul in one piece good education for the children’ s tomorrow four wheels to end the drudgery of walking smashing bright kente for Sunday service a trip or two to cheer the family and enough to put away against retirement.
My teacher demands not paradise,
not even heaven Just enough comfort to live here on earth

There goes my teacher,
My good old teacher
His graceful steps now eroded by years of overwork and depressing pittance
Injustice now stares him blankly in the face
As the grave speedily beckons
There he goes full of the misery
That scares the young from ever holding chalk
Empty classrooms will soon foretell
The first signs of national gloom and doom
Gameli Adzaho

Concerned Teachers Coalition Group Reject 15% Pay Rise

Members of the Coalition of Concerned Teachers ( CCT) in the Eastern region have said that they will never accept the 15 percent increment in salaries since they see it as an insult to their dignity.

They have therefore advised all teachers to stay away from the classroom when public schools re – open on May 3 , as a protest against ‘ injustices’ in salary structures. “ We want to tell the president that 15percent is a big insult and we as members of Concerned Teachers want it to be deleted from our pay slips because we don ’ t need it , ” the national coordinator of the coalition , Norbert Gborgbortsi, said these when the leadership of the body addressed a press conference on developments of the Single Spine Salary Structure ( SSSS ) for teachers at Koforidua yesterday.

He said for instance , a teacher who took home a monthly salary of GH¢ 400 could not be satisfied with GH ¢60 as an increment in his salary because it was an insult.

He said what worsened matters was a comment allegedly made by a deputy Minister of Information, Baba Jamal , on Peace FM ’ s ‘ Kokrokoo ’ programme last Wednesday that teachers had kept quiet because they had got what they wanted from the government.

“We want to tell Hon Baba Jamal that we are not quiet because of the paltry 15percent his government has given to teachers ,” the Coalition of Concerned Teachers said.

Ako Forson , a member of the coalition who also addressed the press, said the group was very disappointed when leadership of the Ghana National Association of Teachers ( GNAT ) said GNAT did not have the right to do sector- wide bargaining but could only do centralized bargaining under the leadership of Ghana Trades Union Congress and Fair Wages and Salary Commission.

He added that GNAT was now shifting the blame to Trades Union Congress, Fair Wages and Salary Commission and so these bodies must seriously come clean on the SSSS.

According to him , GNAT , in its recent press conference, said it had proposed other allowances and would negotiate with its members . “We concerned teachers are saying that GNAT could not defend the professional allowance which has been rationalized and harmonized , so what shows that it can defend clothing, risk and rent allowances, ” he said, stressing that it was the agitations by teachers that helped to restore the retention premium.

The concerned teachers therefore expressed a vote of no confidence in the leadership of GNAT and said they would do all in their power to force the leadership out of office.

“Leaders of GNAT are our employees. We use our monies to pay them and if we are not satisfied with their services, then they should immediately leave . ”

According to the concerned teachers , they would use the Commission on Human Rights and Administration Justice ( CHRAJ ) to fight their leaders and remove them from office.
Source: Daily Guide/ Ghana

Education Service Must Check Low Teacher Performance

The Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition has asked the Ghana Education Service to sanction teachers who are constantly missing from the classroom if it is to reverse the worrying trend of poor performance amongst students.

The coalition was reacting to a World Bank study which indicts Ghanaian teachers as being notorious for absenteeism and inadequate instructional hours.

The report reveals that unlike Tunisia, Brazil and Morocco , Ghanaian teachers use their teaching time to chase their salaries, attend funerals and other social events as well as engage in other economic activities.

The Coordinator of the Education Coalition, Leslie Tetteh said there were weak supervisory and monitoring mechanisms of teacher performance and attendance at the district and school level and that must change.

Admitting that Circuit Supervisors were not adequately resourced to carry out the task , Mr Tetteh said members of the community must play the role of supervisors.

Director of Planning at the Education Ministry, Ernest Otoo, however, assured that the situation will improve with the decentralisation of the management of schools.

Under the decentralisation system , District Directors of Education , he said, will be given the power to manage the school and because they will be held accountable for any lapses, it is believed that they will put in their best to change the situation.
Source: Joy News/Ghana

‘Fingering’ University Students To Face Sanctions – Committee

The committee that investigated the molestation of a suspected phone thief at the University of Ghana has submitted its report to the Vice chancellor.

According to officials of the university , the committee identified some culprits who are expected to face sanctions.

The investigations were triggered by public outcry over the publication of video footage about the incident last month.

The footage showed some persons believed to be students stripping the suspected lady thief of her clothes and poking her in her genitals.

The University ’ s Acting Director of Public Relations, Stella Amoah told Joy News the Vice Chancellor has referred the case to the Disciplinary Committee for action . ” Those who have been implicated have been invited to meet with the Disciplinary Committee and a writ of summons was issued to these persons on 13 April, ” she noted.

Meanwhile, the police CID has been interrogating some officials of the university as part of preparation to press criminal charges against the culprits.

The Daily Graphic reports that ten students whose names are being withheld are also assisting in investigations.

It adds that the police have indicated that more students would be picked up in connection with the incident.

The Legon Police Crime Officer ASP Emmanuel Basintale is quoted as saying they expect to glean more information from the ten students to help arrest those who actively engaged in the molestation of the alleged female thief.
Source: Joy News/Ghana

University of Ghana Legon Sanctions 20 Students Over Disciplinary Offences>> The University of Ghana has sanctioned twenty students for various offences.

The offences which were committed between 2006 and 2010 include falsification of checks belonging to the Graduate Students Union , sale of university beds , assault and excessive noise making.

For their punishment, some of the students have been dismissed while others have had their academic privileges and certificates withdrawn for specified periods.

The action comes weeks after a group of students molested a suspected lady thief at the university . Speaking to Joy News, the registrar of the university , Maafo Budu said the two events are not linked in any way. “ The two are not linked at all. It is something that started a long time ago . The various processes were gone through. The sanctions were defined by the disciplinary committee …” he said.

He said those who have already graduated will have their transcripts held on for a period. Meanwhile the Legon Police is assuring the public that it will very soon catch up with the students who molested the suspected lady thief on campus.

The Legon crime officer, Emmanuel Basintale said the collaboration between the police and Legon authorities will bear fruits.

According to him , there are so many suspects but his outfit will want to narrow down to those who actually partook in the molestation. “ We haven ’ t given up. It is not easy investigating a case like this so we are appealing to the public to give us some time . We will definitely come up with something, ” he assured.
Source: Joy News/ Myjoyonline. com /Ghana version>> Twenty students of the University of Ghana , Legon have been sanctioned by the University authorities for various offenses.

A statement released by the University ’ s Registrar, Joseph Budu , said some of the students have been dismissed while others are to be suspended.

The offenses, committed between 2006 and 2010 , includes ‘ ponding’ of students with water , excessive noise making , forging of cheques , assault and destruction of university properties . The University authorities say these offenses are against the regulations of the institution .

The Registrar, Mr . Budu told Citi News, the action by the university ’ s Disciplinary Committee shows how committed the University is to maintaining discipline among students.

He added that “ the sanctions included informing the public about it . Its been in arrears for a while and we just cleared some of the arrears . It just goes to show that we would sanction any student who breaches our laws ”

Mr . Budu indicated that thorough investigations are underway to punish students who took part in the manhandling of a suspected female thief at the Mensah Sarbah Hall.

Bagabaga College of Education (BATCO) Cries For Facilities

Teacher trainees of the Bagabaga College of Education in Tamale stand under trees for their regular morning assembly.

The situation is no different when any dignitary ( say the President ) visits the school to meet with the students.

This is because the College lacks an ultra modern auditorium and the small assembly hall – built in the 1940 s – is too small to accommodate the over 1000 students. Alhaji Adam Zakariah , Principal of the Bagabaga College of Education made this disclosure during the College ’ s 2nd Congregation.

He described the College as “Tertiary College under trees ” because of the prevailing circumstance hence the urgent need for government to build an auditorium for the College.

He commended government for expanding infrastructure in the education sector aimed at eliminating schools under trees but was quick to add that the intervention will be incomplete when teacher trainees in the Bagabaga College of Education continue to stand under trees for important events.

Alhaji Adam Zakariah also thanked government for awarding a contract for the construction of a new female hostel to ease the burden on accommodation facilities female students have been grappling with.

He asked for government help fence the School ’ s land to combat the encroachment on the land by private developers.

Available statistics indicate that about 52 out of 280 students who gained admission into the College to read a three year programme in various disciplines were dropped from the list of the 2011 graduating class because they failed to meet the required academic criteria set by the University of Cape Coast for the three year programme.

The graduands , made up of 228 students who successfully completed the programme were awarded Diplomas in accordance with their respective classes of distinction outlined by the University of Cape Coast.

Dr. Yahuza Gomda , Chairman of the Governing Council of the Bagabaga College of Education said it had experienced massive growth in student population without any corresponding expansion of infrastructure . “We are still dwelling in buildings put up in the 1940s for which reason accommodation for lecturers and students is a big problem that needs to be looked into ” he complained. Dr. Gomda pleaded with government to repair the College ’ s deplorable road network.

The Bagabaga College of Education was established in 1944. Its alumni include the sitting Vice President’ s father , E . A . Mahama , Dr. Hilla Liman , Alhaji Mumuni Bawumia, Abayifa Karbo, S .D . Dombo, Ishague Wemah and Issifu Ali.
Source:Abdul Karim Naatogmah/

Chief Commends Government Over Teachers Single Spine Salary Structure

Nana Ekow Arhin II , Chief of Kokoado Division at Saltpond in the Central Region has commended the Government for rectifying the anomalies in the salaries of teachers under the Single Spine Salary Structure ( SSSS ).

He said “The speed with which the issue was handled by the Government contributed immensely to the fulfillment of its promise to rectify the anomalies , an end to the series of demonstrations nation-wide, smooth completion of the BECE and congenial atmosphere for teaching and learning in schools ”.

Nana Arhin made the commendation in an interview with the Ghana News Agency at Winneba -Junction at the week -end.

He noted that teachers played an important role in the up- bringing of future leaders of the country and the return of the teachers after President Evans Atta Mills’ intervention clearly showed “his love for the noble teaching profession . ”

Nana Arhin , Former Chairman of Agona Swedru All Blacks Footbal Club , appealed to the leadership of the various associations in the teaching profession to solve any differences existing between them and the Government in the interest of the youth , the profession as well as the society.

High Teacher Absenteeism Hindering Inclusive Education In Ghana-World Bank

Most Ghanaian primary school teachers spend just 76 days out of the 196 days needed to engage pupils in direct learning activities , according to a World Bank study.

The study indicated that only 109 school days out of 197 are fully operational as teachers spent other days engaged in activities such as collecting salaries , attending funerals , and travelling long distances to their schools.

Dr Leslie Casely-Hayford , Social Development Consultant of Associates for Change , was highlighting on the World Bank ( 2010) Report entitled : Education in Ghana , Improving Equity , Efficiency and Accountability, released over the last few months , in Tamale .

She was speaking at the Fourth Northern Ghana Education Forum which brought together stakeholders in education in the three Northern Region dubbed: “Inclusive Education ; an indispensable tool for achieving Education for All ( EFA ) ”, organized by the Northern Network for Education Development in Tamale.

Dr Casely -Hayford also shared some findings of a recent research study conducted by Associates for Change , a research and consulting firm based in Ghana.

The study named: “Inclusive Education in Ghana; a look at policy and practice in Northern Ghana ”, investigated the best practices and sought to identify the most effective programmes promoting inclusive education in Ghana.

She said one of the major challenges to inclusive education in Ghana was inefficiency in the nation’ s Basic Education system based mainly on the inequitable teacher deployment across the country .

“Inclusive Education is a key strategy which seeks to attain universal access for all types of children from deprived backgrounds , excluded children and special needs children; the concept is growing in recognition internationally and is a key goal embedded in the attainment of International Millennium Development Goals of Universal Primary Education and Gender Equity . ” Dr Casely -Hayford said the study findings revealed that there was lack of funding for special needs , and girl child education in Ghana as well as limited “ time on task ” by teachers across primary schools particularly in rural deprived areas of the country.

The Inclusive Education Study , funded by the Voluntary Service Overseas ( VSO) of Ghana, used both qualitative and quantitative approaches as well as interviews with stakeholders including School Management Committee and Parent Teacher Association , children as well as teachers, along with key district education officers across six districts in Ghana.

Dr Casely -Hayford said some of the challenges highlighted in the study were the high dropout rates and out of school child phenomena which persisted and was still visible in many districts and communities due to poverty, poor quality education and some negative socio cultural practices such as early marriage, fosterage and teenage pregnancy .

However , Dr Casely- Hayford said these challenges could be corrected by building a collective voice of parents through building school management committee networks to flag issues related to poor quality education , teacher absenteeism, equitable trained teacher deployment and ensuring school infrastructure is better targeted to deprived areas of the country.

Another key initiative to ensuring the effectiveness of inclusive education in the country she said, was the identification of accelerated literacy methods for improving learning outcomes particularly among lower primary school pupils as well as supporting the National Literacy Accelerated Programme through civil society and donor agency monitoring and support.

Mr Ernest Otoo, responsible for Policy Planning and Inter-sectorial Collaboration at the Ministry of Education , told the Ghana News Agency and confirmed that teacher absenteeism at the primary level was true adding , “There is no doubt about what the report had said that teachers spend lots of time outside the classroom” .

On measures to be taken by the Ministry to curb the menace, Mr Otoo said there would be a nationwide forum by stakeholders to deliberate on possible solutions.
Source: GNA

Teachers Told Not To Compare Salaries

The Deputy National General Secretary of the Ghana National Association of Teachers, (GNAT ) , Mr Awortwe Nkansah has advised teachers not to compare their salaries with those in other sectors.

Mr Nkansah said teachers had a lot of existing remunerations and allowances which could be improved by the government to enhance their conditions of service.

He made this know at an emergency Regional Council meeting , held at Bolgatanga , to collate views from teachers and to strategize to on how to get their wages improved. “You should not single out some professionals in the public sector to make comparisons to in relation to salaries and allowances for that might not give the true picture of the reality, ” he said .

He said the recent demands and agitations by teachers to remove its leadership following the migration of teachers to the Single Spine Salary Structure ( SSSS ) were politically motivated.

Mr Nkansah called on teachers not to use actions such as strikes to drive home their concerns but to ensure that peace , justice, harmony and stability prevailed among teachers as GNAT was doing all it could to fight for them.

GES Urged To Post Trained Teachers To The Afram Plains

The Member of Parliament for Afram Plains North , Mr Emmanuel Aboagye Didieye, has appealed to the Ghana Education Service ( GES ) to post 200 newly trained teachers to the Afram Plains.

He said the GES should ensure that teachers are sent to the various classrooms in the area, under the Untrained Teachers Diploma in Basic Education ( UTDBE) , which began in 2009.

He said there were no teachers in most of the basic schools in his constituency while the few trained teachers in the system were applying for transfer from the area.

Mr Aboagye made the appeal when the Eastern Regional Minister, Dr Kwasi Akyem Apea -Kubi presented a quantity of relief items worth GHC40, 000 to rainstorm and flood victims in the area, as part of his three -day working visit to the Kwahu North District.

The relief items included , roofing sheets , mattresses, blankets , bags of maize and rice , rubber containers , plates , lanterns and used clothing.

Mr Aboagye also appealed to the government to provide vehicles for the police in the area, to help curb the activities of the Fulani herdsmen and their cattle.

When the District Director of Education , Mr Gabriel Adu was contacted on the teacher ’ s issue , he said the University of Cape Coast ( UCC ) , which supervises their training , under the programme, is yet to release the teacher ’ s certificate to them.

He gave the assurance that efforts were being made by the GES for UCC to issue out the certificate to the graduated teachers for them to be posted.

The Regional Minister urged the Assembly to immediately release some of the roofing sheets to rehabilitate the teachers quarters at Amankwatornu , which had its roof ripped off . He advised the people to plant trees around their buildings to serve as wind breaks.

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