Hon. Peter Nortsu -Kotoe, Member of Parliament for Akatsi North Constituency in the Volta Region, last Friday, courted the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in parliament to push for the improvement of the teachers’ welfare as a way of boosting the quality of education in the country.
In a statement on the floor of parliament to mark World Teachers Day, which falls on 5th October every year, the Minority Ranking Member on Education Sub-Committee said the plight of teachers was a matter which needs attention.
He reiterated the need for government’s commitment in tackling the challenges facing the education sector, stating it was one of the areas that should given a lion’s share of the national budget.
According to the NDC MP, the role of teachers in the development of the nation was invaluable hence the need to look into their welfare by improving on their pay.
“Mr. Speaker, every member in this Chamber went through the hands of a teacher and 46 of the membership of this august House have been teachers at various levels.”
“Teachers have sacrificed themselves in several ways for the development of the country. Some of them had to forgo a lot of privileges and accepted posting to rural areas where they travelled several kilometres on foot only to live under bad conditions,” he stated.
Mr. Nortsu-Kotoe said it was time for us as a country put teachers first in our development agenda and forgo the accolade that, “the teacher’s reward was in Heaven,” emphasizing that, “teachers deserved good remuneration and better conditions of service. The teacher must not be seen begging for promotion when his or her time is due.”
Whilst calling on members of the august House on the need to collectively address the welfare of teachers and for more support to enable them to meet the 21st Century demands, he urged government to take necessary measures and policies that would make life bearable for the teachers, especially those in deprived communities across the country.
In their contribution to the statement, some members on the floor called for improvement of teachers and the physical condition of schools structures, which most of the schools use for classes for the pupils.
Hon James Klutse Avedzi, Deputy Minority Leader, said it was time the nation paid special attention to the welfare of teachers as most of them have started leaving the field due to the poor condition and remuneration given them by the government.
He said the poor conditions sometime de-motivate and demoralize them and called for a holistic approach to their welfare to ensure those left remain to motivate others to join.
Hon. Osdei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the Majority Leader and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, on his part, said the poor physical condition of structures also contributed to poor performance as the teachers and the pupil feel demoralized sitting in a building without hope or sometime under trees to teach.
He expressed support for the need for the nation to find lasting measures that would help improve condition of teachers, adding that, if possible, the government should dedicate a day for the rehabilitation of physical structures of our schools as a way of putting them in good shape for teaching and learning.
Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, Deputy Minister of Education in charge of pre-tertiary, in his contribution, reiterated government’s commitment to improve education, stating that teachers played greater role in national development and their welfare should be a concern to everyone.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/Felix Engsalige Nyaaba