Successive governments, since Ghana gained its republican status, have worked toward making education accessible to all across the country.
These efforts aimed at educating the mass of the population have come in the form of policies, infrastructural developments, training of teachers and other required human personnel needed in the running of educational institutions, among others.
It is, therefore, disturbing to hear reports that some teachers refuse postings to deprived areas while the few who are in such districts are also looking for ways to exit to other areas.
Lamenting about the problem, the Wa East District Administrator for Human Resources at the Ghana Education Service, Adam Jamal-Deen, said the action has led to a shortage of teachers in the area and the Upper West Region at large.
He said at the district’s maiden “meet the press” series at Funsi, that, majority of trained teachers did not accept postings to the district as a result of the deprived nature of the area.
Although the students’ population is more than 27,000, he said the district had only 795 teachers with 51 of them currently on study leave with pay and a further 54 released from the district.
Citing the situation of a community in the district named Chassie, Mr Jamal-deen noted that there was only one teacher in the primary school because teachers posted to that area always refused to stay.
To make matters worse, he revealed that, some schools in the district are in deplorable state and did not promote teaching and learning among the students and teachers.
The Ghanaian Times finds it regrettable that some teachers have refused postings to deprived areas in the face of recent increases in students’ enrolment.
The role of teachers in improving education is so critical that we cannot overlook the concerns by the GES and other community leaders who have been compelled to make similar complaints in the past.
Without teachers, teaching and learning cannot happen and any attempt to expand education will fail woefully.
We do not condone the actions of teachers who refuse postings to deprived areas although their concerns might be legitimate.
However, we believe that teachers must be incentivised through good salaries and provision of social amenities including electricity, water and health, among others in deprived areas to enable teachers posted to such areas live a comfortable life.
Teachers will not be at ease and willing to stay at deprived areas if we do not make it easier for them to live away from their comfort zones.
We calls on teachers as well as the government to work together in addressing the concerns to ensure education remains accessible to all citizens living in every corner of the country.