During the build to the 2016 elections, NDC had much cotton wool on their anus going to jump over fire. Across the board, teachers were highly disappointed in them for their unpopular policy (the three months pay policy) and chanted their exit. NPP took advantage of the situation and promised teachers bread and butter.
Sammy Awuku of National Lotteries rallied many young teachers and succeeded in demonizing NDC for subjecting them to excruciating IMF cutthroat policy. I recalled that NPP never gave any tangent promise to teachers and only said they will abolish the three months pay policy.
The 2016 elections saw the painful exit of NDC and NPP took the reign of power. Since the coming of NPP, teachers have not known peace. NPP claimed that they are sanitizing the profession and piles of unpopular and harsh policies had been sprung on us. These policies put together are more catastrophic and dangerous than the NDC’s three months pay policy. NPP has committed more sins against teachers than NDC. The harshness of the policies with their accompanying harassment is too excruciating that the teaching profession’s little glory is fast evaporating.
First of all, under the leadership of NAPO, NPP introduced teacher licensing, national service and centralized recruitment. Teachers must get a license before they can practice and renew their license before they can be allowed to continue practising. To renew your license, a teacher must pay to attend CPD to build points. NAPO managed only to give teachers ¢1200 as professional allowance and went around touting his achievements.
Again, automatic recruitment was cancelled under NPP. Newly trained teachers had to obtain a license and national service certificate before recruitment. They wait for two years before they are given clearance for recruitment. Besides, the usual recruitment process that we know from the district to the headquarters is now the opposite. The new policy is financial clearance before headquarters recruitment or re-engagement. The level of corruption involved in this alone is massive. While qualified teachers wait for the so-called portal to be opened, others are being recruited secretly by NPP stalwarts at the GES headquarters. Many teachers returning from a leave of absence (study leave without pay, sick leave, travelling, etc) are still home and still waiting for a portal to be opened before recruitment.
The most annoying aspect of the whole thing is that many schools are desperately begging for teachers. Go to Afram plains, the classrooms are empty, yet the NPP is asking teachers returning from a leave of absence to wait for the recruitment portal. Many remote secondary schools lack teachers, yet graduates are loitering without work. So absurd and incongruous of so-called astute politicians.
The scammest among them is the introduction of the “one teacher, one laptop policy”. As it stands, some JHS and primary school teachers are yet to receive their laptops. Clandestinely, the NPP took teachers’ pension and CPD allowance and procured shoddy laptops for them yet not every teacher has received the laptop.
The era of the culture of silence is prevailing unabated in the teaching profession more or less like the OBEY BEFORE COMPLAIN syndrome. Headteachers dare not to speak against any policy and directors of regional and district education are more or less like stooges. Teachers are slaves to educational policies. You dare not challenge GES policies or subvent them. There are massive issues with feeding at the SHS, lack of textbooks at the basic level and the free SHS is jerking. No one talks about anything anymore. Everything is in a mess and yet everyone is quiet. Time will not permit me to perm all the sins NPP has committed and is committing against teachers.
Now, my fellow teachers, NDC only introduced the three months policy pay which made them unpopular and which made us vote against them. After all, in Ghana, it’s about NPP and NDC. I believe teachers are the good witnesses of the bad things NPP is doing to us aside from all that I have said. We need NDC to come and take away all these harsh and unnecessary policies and restore the teaching profession to its former glory. Now teaching in Ghana is gradually being politicized, NPP is seriously recruiting their members at the blind side whilst qualified professionals sit at home in the name of a policy.
We ask NDC to start listing the sins of NPP and begin to have teachers at heart. Teachers form the majority of all the workers in Ghana and I can assure NDC if they are ready to listen to our cry, they will win the 2024 hands down and stop the wicked NPP from destroying the teaching profession.
NDC must put their education stalwarts to the task. They must be ready to reverse, rebrand or cancel many of the policies NPP has introduced that are affecting teachers harshly and demeaning the profession.
NDC, you are the only party teachers can place their last bet of hope on. NDC come and rescue teachers. NDC teachers need you more than before. Teachers will rally behind NDC to a resounding victory in 2024 if they take steps to convince us that indeed they are ready to make teachers smile again and rescue us from the evil claws of NPP.
(Teachers’ Series Author)