Respect our teachers, for there are none like them. The age-old saying that all professions can boast but the teacher taught all of them remains incontestable.
Respect for teachers and the teaching profession is important to those who have dedicated their lives to impact, transfer and share knowledge with learners at all levels to ensure the human resources of this great nation are moulded to fit into the world of work to shape the development agenda of our nation.
Treating teachers like doormats is rather disheartening for those in the profession and the up and coming young ones desirous of becoming educators.
Ghanaian teachers seem not to be respected, just like the profession. Ask a class of 30 students how many of them want to become teachers, and you get all shades of laughter and nearly every hand down. The common reason such students give is the teacher is not respected and their pay is very low.
The Global Teacher Status Index 2018, which sampled over 1000 respondents in 35 countries across the world including Ghana, asked people to rank the respect accorded teachers on a scale of 0-100.
Ghana was forth to last with an average score of fewer than 20 whiles China obtained an enviable near 100 score.
The survey revealed the following general trends across the 35 economies:
1. Older people respect teachers more
2. Graduates respect teachers more than non-graduates
3. Men respect teachers more than women
4. Parents respect teachers more than people without children
5. Those of Islamic faith respect teachers more
Where does this lack of desire to become a teacher and the open disrespect for educators come from?
#1 Politicians and persons holding political positions are among the group of people who do not place a premium value on teachers.
For instance, a small increase in the teacher’s pay is enough grounds to make noise about how they have transformed the fortunes of teachers as though they spent their personal resources in doing that. When teachers’ salaries increase by Ghs1.00 the nation does not go to sleep.
Governments seek their political gains with every decision aimed at improving the lives of teachers as a camouflage.
Do you remember the food that was served to public school teachers during their training on the new Curriculum? Oh, gee..that was terrible.
For politicians to make pronouncements that are not true and not backed by accurate data only to hurt the soul of the teacher is uncalled for.
Do you recollect the statement by the Vice President of Ghana that the government has paid all the Legacy Arrears? Information on issues concerning teachers are delicate matters. Respecting the teachers implies telling them the truth and not lies to serve your political ambition. It requires a careful choice of words and tact to express respect at all times.
#2 Parents are another group of people who often disrespect teachers. Parents have no option than to accord teachers maximum respect, but they will often not.
Thanks to the infamous coronavirus which has taught parents and guidance about the important roles teachers play in the lives of school children and parents themselves. The difficulties parents have faced teaching, managing, and training children at home since March 2020 are enormous and they can attest to the good works teachers have been doing for them.
Parents can attest that they have had tough times teaching their wards at home, leaving them at home and going to work. Parents have had to put up with the poor behaviours and attitude their children put up at school.
Teachers have always shared knowledge with young minds, adding bits and pieces of block and mortar to the learner’s behaviour, knowledge, skills and personality to shape them into responsible adults. If you decide not to show respect to them, you are ungrateful, to say the least.
Upon all these contributions, they are less appreciated. Politeness by parents towards teachers, discouraging gossips about teachers, not insulting teachers at home or on your way home with your children are basic etiquettes for parents as children will often replicate the same behaviour at school towards teachers.
#3 Pupils and students cannot be oblivious of their responsibility to accord teachers maximum respect at all times.
One of the important lessons I learned from my parents is always to respect authority figures like teachers. – Author: Georges St-Pierre
As captains of the learner’s knowledge, teachers give off their best when students show respect. Teachers go the extra mile to educate learners and to mould them for the overall good of society and humanity. Teachers provide beyond-self-services to teach children and see them excel.
I am who I am today because of the huge investments my teachers from the primary one sacrificed for me.
Good teachers are the reason why ordinary students dream of doing extraordinary things.
These committed teachers are valuable than the fees parents pay. In an era where the government has absorbed nearly all fees parents have to pay, the learner needs the teacher more than ever, and so do parents and the government and politicians.
For some Learners who have grown arrogant horns, it is time to let the horns grow shorter and tamed or longer but managed to avoid disrespectful attitudes towards teachers.
Undermining the commitments and efforts of teachers break their hearts. It is not uncommon to see teachers being castigated for one wrong or the other, as though they are not mortals capable of making mistakes.
There are teachers that have also become their own puppets and clothe themselves with bad attitudes that need to be condemned. They make unhealthy decisions and choices (unnecessarily caning, having carnal knowledge of learners, drunkenness among others) that affect their lives and respect. These low key attitudes and choices culminate into high levels of public disrespect for teachers. Self-respect is the only way to win the respect of others for teachers.
Government and politicians must stop turning teachers into puppets by their decisions and policies and genuinely seek the welfare of teachers, learners and quality education for the brains under contraction in our school. Parents must see teachers are critical agents for their wards dreams, aspirations and future and students need to look their teachers in the eye and put forth admirable behaviours that will make teachers go out of their way to shine bright knowledge that will make them valuable assets of our tomorrow as a nation and teachers must be in the driving seat and guard their actions and attitudes toward self-respect and self-worth. Leading a child to learn treasures gives a teacher untold pleasures. Respect teachers.
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