Time Bomb of Economic Hardship Activated for Teachers

Time Bomb of Economic Hardship Activated for Teachers – Time to Rethink the Future

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Pension is a time of rest and every worker’s expectation is to rest from his hard labour. Rest here is an embodiment of preparation and packages that can sustain a person for the rest of the years till death beckons. Pension schemes available to government workers are numerous and for those of us in GES, we are asked to wait for our package from Tier I (SSNIT) and Tier II (GES Pension). Well, this article is a form of an eye-opener to anyone who is reading because it will inform you why your chances of future rest might not be guaranteed. After all, you are a teacher in GES and you have no business to do in the future when you retire.

When you know twenty (20) years from now money that sounds sumptuous in our minds will no longer be considered money, then there is a need for every teacher to wake up from his or her slumber. Sometimes, we used to be worried about pensioner teachers about their state of affairs. When the single spine salary was introduced, there seemed to be some little hope. Now that single spine hope has been reversed to the worst gear and teachers’ best-known plight has been rekindled, the flame is more dangerous than some fifteen (15) or twenty (20) years ago. The consequences of our future gains are gloomy. As teachers, our monies that are deducted in favour of our pension is very meagre and both the Tier I (SSNIT) and Tier II (GES Pension) cannot guarantee you, together, an amount of GH₵50000 when you retire.

Well, imagine receiving *GH₵50,000 in 2047*, that colossal amount will be referred to as peanut and cannot even put up a single room self-contained house. It can also barely set up a meaningful business venture in that year. *By then your salary of GH₵5000 will also become a mockery because basic commodities like ideal milk will be sold for GH₵10 or GH₵15 cedis, Titus sardine for GH₵20, Gino 5 kilo rice for GH₵150 and building materials will be skyrocketing. * We don’t need any prophet or magician to predict such a future for teachers. It is the reality awaiting all those who will make teaching their retirement profession. In 2009, the salary of a Principal Superintendent (PS) teacher was hovering around GH₵400. At that time, that money was useful in the economic world. *Thirteen years (13) down the line, teachers’ salaries jumped to some 400% but the economic hardship had already nip this attractive percentage in the bud*. Teachers are suffering in the face of current economic turbulence. It is an unfaced off event and every *teacher must understand that the profession cannot sustain him or her financially and economically*.

You can also read this: Headmasters of Some Top Public SHS Receiving Not More Than 3.5K as Salary

The government is not even ready to ameliorate the plight of teachers. The government’s excuse had been that teachers are many and as such he cannot pay us more. If the government does, according to him, it will crash the economy. *Accordingly, our sitting President also admitted to the fact that ‘no one enters teaching to become a millionaire’. * It is a choice of sacrifice to serve your country. That is how come the majority of teachers live on the fringes of life and become vulnerable to praise of loans and insurance companies. *The time beckons and the prospect of teaching in Ghana continue to wane and slimmer by time and the time bomb of economic hardship is already activated*.

I will advise every young teacher reading my message to take caution and advise himself or herself accordingly. The best you can do is to obtain new knowledge and skills that can make you versatile for other employment opportunities rather than tying yourself down to a hopeless profession. Start a business now that could yield better dividends to support your meagre salary or yet still learn a trade and begin an entrepreneurship activity for additional income. *Teachers with talents, unleash your talents and become more relevant in society. * If someone told you, there is no job in Ghana, the person is just being pessimistic. There are jobs but they require relevant skills and knowledge. If you possess the relevant skill and knowledge, you can get good employment elsewhere other than teaching. Spending over GH₵8000 to get an M.Ed in Education Administration or History Education is good but you could have spent the same amount in other relevant knowledge fields to polish yourselves for alternatives.  In GES, career development is synonymous with the higher form of national service. *Only a few opportunities exist for over 290,000 teachers such as the Ghana Teacher Prize.

There is a time bomb of economic hardship awaiting every teacher in ten (10) to fifteen years (15) to come and every teacher must be concerned and begin to rethink the future and brace himself or herself for a new life other than teaching.


Yaw Arhinful

(Teachers’ Series Author)


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