Ghana Education News| August 2021| 10 Demons of the GES and their impact on teacher morale. They are some of the reasons teachers under the GES have low morale.
The morale of the Ghanaian teacher is at its lowest and who and what will lift them up?. The needed actions to make these teachers feel valued and respected by the Ghana Education Service, the Ministry of Education and the government is lacking in huge magnitudes.
Every teacher in Ghana working under the Ghana Education Service is frustrated by one issue or the other. For those who have multiple challenges, only the divine gentleman sitting up there knows what they go through.
Some teachers walk long distances in the hinterlands to school, others have to cross rivers, some teach under trees and the stormy clouds are good enough to close schools for the day, the demotivating statements by leadership that do not consider the emotional needs of already disappointed teachers adds more insult to injury.
10 Demons of GES and their low morale impact on teachers
The posture of the Education Ministry and the Ghana Education Service when reacting to genuine concerns of teachers makes dedicated teachers lose steam and soon join those who have given up on the education service’s ability to be a solution to the many challenges bedeviling the pre-tertiary education sector in Ghana.
Efficiency and effectiveness are scarce commodities in decision making in the education sector, issues relating to staff morale and motivation are given less attention. Solutions to problems take so long to come that, they lose their relevance when they finally arrive.
Teachers in Ghana employed under the GES to provide teaching and learning services are faced with several problems. The GES cannot say it is not aware of these challenges yet, it is just not willing to deal with them and to have peace of mind.
#1 Demon of non-payment of teacher allowances
One issue that is demoralizing teachers under the public pre-tertiary sector is the nonpayment of allowances to teachers for extra duties performed. Persons with the same qualification just as teachers in other public institutions enjoy allowances but teachers do not. Paying teachers special premium for accepting to be posted to rural areas can be a simple but good motivation for these teachers. No wonder almost all teachers are unwilling to be posted to villages with very poor school infrastructure or nothing to show at all.
#2 Demons of lack of teacher appreciation
In public schools, there seems to be little or no appreciation of teacher’s efforts by leadership. Many teachers are doing great jobs in their schools but who recognizes their contributions? Often, so much attention is dedicated to finding faults they make that, we miss the glorious opportunities to celebrate their successes. A teacher speaks in public about the poor unproductive systems and policies put in place and he or she becomes a target for misconduct yet, the same leadership is failing to acknowledge the many positive contributions of such teachers.
#3 Resistant demon tormenting teacher upgrades
Failure to upgrade teachers after higher education is another issue that needs urgent attention if the morale of teachers is to be lifted. Sometimes, by solving one set of problems facing teachers, the entire teacher fraternity celebrates and gets excited. That is the way to go. Teachers are humans and they know often too well that, all their problems cannot be addressed at a go. Positive forward-looking actions and timelines for solving the problems and sticking to the plan and delivering the needed results at the top by leadership can change the mindset of teachers about the Ghana Education Service and other stakeholders. Just take a look at the new curriculum introduced and how long it took for the GES to come out to make a declarative statement.
#4 Demon of the disciplinary committee summones
Teachers’ morale is depleted when they are victimized in ways that make them feel not wanted and to worsen the case they may receive threats of transfer. When this becomes public knowledge, the teacher may even be summoned before the disciplinary committee or any officially constituted committee. Teacher Kwadjo and the viral ICT teacher have had a share of the invisible forces at work. In recent times these two teachers have become so vocal to ensure the GES is fixed.
#5 Demon of the curriculum without textbooks, TLMs
The lack of working tools and resources for teachers to implement the curriculum in the classroom is another demotivating issue facing teachers. Ghana’s teachers deserve applause for all the hard work they do that never gets recognized. Teaching for nearly two years without textbooks and other resources after a new curriculum was introduced is a testament to the seeds of determination in every teacher in Ghana.
#6 Demon of Leadership deficiency
It looks as though the Pre-Tertiary Education Sector is suffering from leadership deficiency. Holding a leadership position is not leadership but using the position to serve and solve the problems of those you serve is leadership. The nonlistening leadership approach is becoming visible. Teachers make excellent suggestions on issues and they end nowhere. Problems of teaches get compounded by the day and yet solutions are not forthcoming. Teachers called for the cancelation of the imposed SIC insurances and requested for their deducted funds to be paid back to them, a listening leadership will take proactive actions to resolve this. However, we are all still waiting for the GES and SIC to do the needful. If the GES is to succeed with leadership, it must take the bottom-up approach very seriously.
#7 Demon of Poor social media communication approach and strategy
Poor social media communication approach and strategy is another challenge that needs to be addressed. The GES needs to take responses and comments left on its social media platforms very seriously. Reading these comments can share with you what the ordinary teacher goes through and the level of disappointment they have. Sometimes, these teachers who leave comments provide laudable suggestions yet, no one gives these suggestions a second look.
#8 Demon of the poorly implemented new curriculum
The poorly implemented new curriculum is not new knowledge to the teaching fraternity. The Teachers Legacy Arrears also lingers on. Before the GES is able to solve one problem, two more might have been self-created making it difficult to deal with the several issues that challenge its available time, effort, and other resources.
Demon 9 & 10 are key: Solution demons that must be entertained
GES and low morale impact on teachers: The way forward in dealing with the 10 Demons of GES
Teachers have complained about the same things for far too long hence leadership is beginning to feel the educators are just complaining. No, the teachers need solutions and the education sector needs a transformation in the areas of leadership, ideas, approaches to problem-solving, corporation among others.
It is time for the Ghana Education Service to be super proactive in dealing with serious concerns raised by teachers if it wants to appeal to teachers as not only a listening ministry but also a result-oriented and people-centered education sector that uses its human resource to transform the teaching fraternity and profession which will, in the long run, make teaching attractive and rewarding.
The GES needs to introduce greater accountability and be responsible in its actions; above all, where necessary, it must replace accountability with innovation.
Teaching resources are badly needed but it must make sure the content, classrooms, and teachers are better branded to project a positive image and feeling in the school environment inside out.
The perception that teachers are only complaining must be shelved. It is time for the GES to replace forced collaboration, intimidation, and force compliance with better options, thus give teachers reasons why they must collaborate with the GES.
Consider district teacher awards which would showcase to the nation and the world the great works and the teachers behind them in every district. The best district winners can then be considered for regional best teacher awards before the national teaching awards. This will ensure the inclusiveness of all teachers in Ghana and reward teachers bottom up. Can you imagine the morale-boosting power in this approach?
If the GES can deal with the 10 Demons of GES and their low morale impact on teachers, teachers will be excited however in all these the Ministry of Education must not forget the important role better remuneration plays in the lives of teachers. Provide all the needed intrinsic and extrinsic motivation for the Ghanaian teacher.
#FIXGES #FIXOUREDUCATION #FIXGESNOW. GES and low morale impact on teachers, the time to deal with it is now!