Almost five months after their recruitment, the over 8,000 teachers recruited by the Ghana Education Service (GES) in November 2018 to augment the overwhelming number of students in second cycle institutions across the country, are yet to receive their salaries.
The government, in November last year, directed the GES to recruit some 8,000 teachers one year after the introduction of the Double Track System of education, which became necessary following the introduction of the Free Senior High School Policy in 2017.
But, having spent almost five months in the classrooms, the teachers are uncertain when their first pay will come. They are more threatened by the fact that they do not know whether all arrears due them will be paid cumulatively or not.
In February this year, some of the teachers agitated over the issue and appealed to the government to pay them or they would boycott classrooms if they could not cope with the hardship. Some of them, who said they had been posted to different regions and areas, said they were struggling to find accommodation, feed and transport themselves to and from school, and also meet their family needs.
The Chronicle gathered across the regions that some of the teachers are unable to attend classes regularly, which will, in a long run, affect the academic fortunes of students.
The teachers are also worried about poor information flow, as some of them are still yet to get schools to teach at. Some claim the schools they were originally posted to declined to accept them when they reported, either on the grounds that they had enough teachers, or their subject areas were not needed in those schools.
And as such, The Chronicle has gathered that the reposting of teachers only ended on March 8, 2019, to pave way for final processes to be completed.
Meanwhile, the teachers still do not have staff identification. They are also yet to be biometrically verified. These are critical requirements they must meet if they have to be paid, as is the case with the old teachers. As a result, the new teachers fear it will still take a longer time before their salaries are paid.
The move by the government to employ such a huge number of teachers to fill the vacant classrooms was a bold one, as it also contributed largely to reducing the soaring unemployment rate in the country.
Unfortunately, this added up to a list of workers who still have issues with their salaries and allowances. For instance, there are outstanding allowances to be paid to the Youth in Afforestation and beneficiaries of the Nation Builders Corps, which has many modules under it.
We, at The Chronicle, are adding our voice to the many calls by these workers, most especially the double track teachers, who have not been paid at all since they were employed, to be paid to avoid teacher absenteeism, as some teachers, we understand, stay away from the classrooms, not because they want to, but because they cannot transport themselves to and fro on a daily basis to teach.
Any further delay in paying these teachers will mean causing harm to the academic work of their students, who have very limited contact hours with their teachers due to the nature of their timetable.
Once again, The Chronicle is advocating the immediate payment of Double Track teachers to avoid teacher absenteeism and poor academic work.