There has been a lot of brouhaha about the payment of the Teachers’ Professional Allowance. The brouhaha had come at the backdrop of various platforms campaign by the Minister of Education who sought to play politics with the allowance. Teachers upon hearing about the allowance became eye red and were itching for the monies to be paid into their account as quickly as possible. The allowance delayed as expected and this has resulted in many agitations across the country.
The truth of the matter is that despite the official broadcast of the payment of the allowance by the minister, there are many things that teachers need to take into much consideration. It seems that the purpose of this allowance had been either been misunderstood or misplaced in terms of communication. The teacher is made to understand that even the retention premium was not broadcast the way this new allowance was broadcast. Politics is beginning to take the center stage in the matter as the season present the biggest opportunity for political actors to reap the needed capital.
To set the record straight, the teacher must understand that the professional allowance is solely meant to cater for our CPD (Continuous Professional Development) to be organized by NTC. In the CPD, a teacher is supposed to attend certain IN-SETs and other programs to score points that will enable him or her renew his or her license. In as much that we are in a haste to see the money reflect in our account, we must not lose sight of the fact that the allowance is not meant to be spent on our daily living. Teachers must also understand that the money comes once in a year. Every teacher is expected to complete a minimum of fifty points enough for him or her to renew his or her license.
It is however disheartening to see the manner in which politics had taken twists and turns on the situation. The argument many teachers are making is that certain unwarranted deduction had occurred on their payslip on the peanut allowance with all its noise. As a teacher, I felt a bit uneasy about the development but later realize that fair wages through the Ghana Education Service are trying effortlessly to reverse the anomaly. As professionals we must exercise a lot of restrain in terms of allowing ourselves to be swayed by the political environment on something that was considerate on the part of the government.
Teachers, especially primary school teachers, had stayed in the house for close to nine months and continue to receive their pay. Besides, the government took steps to give extra incentives to teachers who risked teaching the final year SHS students. It is therefore important not to overlook these monumental successes of the government as against an anomaly and end up making mistakes voting wrongly for another party to come and correct their mistakes.
Teachers, we are professionals and we must use credible means of addressing our issues. Good enough, we have the teacher unions are our representatives and I believe they had taken the matter up long time. Calm must return to our front as we tactfully go and choose our leaders.
Long live Ghana! Long live Teachers!! Long live the Profession!!!
Sylvester Kwame Obeng
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