Why are you sleeping with your house on fire?
The above question is the million dollar question in the minds of many teachers who are members of the voiceless teacher unions who watch helplessly while their members are tormented and frustrated by policy makers.
The plight of the Ghanaian teacher emanated from the business agenda all the teacher unions are busily pursuing at the expense of ensuring teachers’ welfare, the core mission for which these ever-multiplying teacher unions are established.
The teaching profession has been reduced to ridicule just because of the weak frontiers in the persons of Teacher Unions and so all governments continue to unleash various forms of trauma and atrocity on the cover less Ghanaian teacher.
Anytime other workers are hit hard by government policies, you will see their unions restlessly fighting all over the media until their members receive the right treatment they deserve but the same quick action is only seen among teacher unions when it comes to ways of increasing dues or deducting monies illegally from teachers’ salaries in the name of growing memberships.
The current “bomb” government has dropped yet again among the helpless teachers is to deny teachers approval of Study Leave that teachers have applied for this 2018/19 academic year.
The only reason the affected teachers are made to understand is that their chosen programmes of study are removed from the approved courses for study leave due to the current Education Reforms that was made this year.
Unfortunately, the information regarding the removal of certain courses from the study leave came to the notice of the concerned teachers very late after they have finished applying to study in the various universities, got admitted and greater part of them finished payment of their admission fees.
The affected teachers were only putting themselves together to report to their various universities when a very late directive came limiting the students to only few courses instead of the usual education programmes that are always approved for study leave.
Instead of government implementing the policy next year for the potential applicants to have enough information and awareness on the new policy to guide them in selecting their programmes of study next year, government is forcing the implementation of this short notice policy on the people who have already been admitted to the various universities.
The affected teachers were told to change their courses to meet the requirements on the current Study Leave Courses in order to get the leave or face the consequence if they dare flout.
Unfortunately, many teachers could not have their change of course applications granted by their universities because they had paid already and were enrolled onto the university system and even the admission fees paid by these teachers are not refundable should they not show up to read the courses they were admitted to read.
Now, the fate of these teachers hang in the balance as they are surrounded by risks of losing jobs or losing monies paid to universities some of which are hard peel loans or losing an obvious chance to further their education.
This is the time when all these trauma are supposed to be addressed by determined unions by negotiating with government to consider pushing the implementation of the late policy on study leaves to next year in order to avoid undue punishment for the innocent teacher who continue to pay dues monthly for these unions to use to protect their welfare.
Ever since this matter was circulating and government is moving on with the implementation at the disadvantage of the recent applicants, the supposed parents of these unfortunate teachers ( the teacher unions) are quiet, relaxed and indifferent as these teachers face this challenge without anybody to intercede on their behalf.
The golden question again. Teacher Unions, “why are you sleeping with your house on fire? “
You are supposed to be mothers to us and protect us but anytime dangers approach, you push us to face it alone while you befriend the source of the danger and expose us very well so that we can be badly affected even under your watch.
Teacher Unions, enough is enough
Enough of the look warm. Enough of the muteness. Enough of the procrastination to perform your core mandate.
Enough of the timidity to act in the interest of your member.
Enough of the business over welfare.
Enough of your ” yes sir” to everything.
In fact under your cover we are treated like orphans. We cry and raise legitimate concerns but nobody to stand firm to ensure that at least our woes are brought to attention.
We look as if we have no unions at all because it is apparent among all teachers that you ( Teacher Unions) have diverted your focus to business and teachers’ welfare issues are secondary and of little or no interest to you as the fruits of our labour have distinguished you from the stalk that produced the fruits.
Enjoy our fruits in sound minds but remember we are the very stalks that toil in all these sighs to bear those fruits, so protect us the least.
Fatherless and motherless as we always are, we beg government, we beg civil society groups, we beg the media and everyone to beg government on our behalf that we are not recalcitrant or against any policy change they want to make but the moment we have crossed the line before the bar is raised, we should be considered to go through the old system while enough awareness is created for the next year’s applicants to start the implementation else we shall unfortunately reel in undue woes from the implementation of the new study leave policy.
Be parents to us like hens to chicks. Approach government to reconsider their decision on study leave this year and save all forms of teachers especially whose with various forms of disabilities who are all left stranded and in total limbo from undue punishments. Raise your voice and raise alarm because your children need rescue.
The earlier the better. No need to fight this issue on individual union basis, collaboration is now the key to getting solution.
We want to see you and hear you in the media: the airways and the papers acting as one body to get government understand our cry very well so that we can have solutions before the imminent harm that is looming finally hits the recent applicants very unfortunately hard.
By: Nyahe Wisdom Yao Agbeshifirstname.lastname@example.org/sokynewsgh.com