Food For Thought

'I TOUCH THE FUTURE. I TEACH'
-Christa Mc Auliffe

Monday, 9 December 2019

NPP government and Teachers of Ghana tussle over salary arears.

From time immemorial government upon governments have reneged upon their promises to make the lots of teachers better.  The use of education and teachers welfare issues on political campaign platforms to get into political power in the 4th republic in Ghana especially around the 2000 to date is a common phenomenon and mind-boggling.

The biggest beneficiary of this, is the NPP government on Free Senior High school ,  restoration of teacher trainee allowance and payment of all legacy teachers salary arears and other mouth watering promises. There is no debate the fact that,  every government that attain political power inherit assets and liabilities and as such should make every effort to work on its liabilities like the case of teachers salary arears spanning 2012 to 2016.

It is almost 3years now Since the New Patriotic Party won power and being in charge but very little has been added or changed for the best in terms of teachers welfare.  It is no surprising this wake up call and industrial strike by the three major teacher unions in Ghana to put pepper into the eyes of the NPP government to fulfill their promises to teachers.

The NPP government has failed on countless occasions when the teacher unions met them to negotiate these payments and this is having serious repercussions on teaching and learning  like frequent absenteeism by teachers, drunkenness, lack of respect for teachers,pregnancies,  indiscipline,  mass failure at BECE just to mention a few.

Just to digress a bit, the government rather prefer to invest in their foot-soldiers by offering them big and corrupt contracts, putting square pegs in round holes to be in charge of state offices to loot us dry.  How can we have more than 120 ministers and cry wolf that Ghana has no money to pay teachers of their well deserved salary arears.  Just think about this insensitivity and crass incompetence of these dudes.

We will continue to strike and fight for our rights until we get our salary arears fully paid into our accounts.

"Solidarity Forever
For The union makes us strong

They have taken untold millions
That they never toiled to earn
But without our brain and muscle not
A single wheel would turn,
We can break their naughty power
Gain our freedom when we learn
That the union makes us strong "
Excerpt from GNAT solidarity song


Aluta continua!!!

Monday, 11 November 2019

SOME PERSPECTIVES OF GLOBAL TEACHER STATUS INDEX

In many professions, it’s easy to overstate the importance of the job. But in the case of our educators, it’s more likely that people will underestimate the importance of teachers in our society. 

For those who have dedicated their lives to teaching others, it’s good to reflect on the vital importance teachers play in shaping the world and learners.

In the debate about how to improve educational attainment, the role of teachers is critical. In deed ,it has become widely accepted in recent years that attracting good quality and well qualified people into teaching is a prerequisite for raising standards. In some of the very developed countries where standards are highest, teachers are recruited from the most qualified graduates all with at least a second degree.

The Global Teacher Status Index is based on in-depth opinion in 35 countries that explores the attitudes on issues ranging from what is a fair salary for teachers to whether they think pupils respect teachers to how highly people rank their own education system.

The global teacher status index started by Varkey Foundation in 2013 and tries to compare the status of teachers across the world.

SAMPLE QUESTIONS:

1. Which occupation is most similar to a teacher in terms of status?

2. Do you think students respect teachers?

3. Would you encourage your child to become a teacher?

4. How many hours do you think teachers work in a week? And how much should they be paid?

SOME FINDINGS OF THE RESEARCH:

1. The research showed that, the better teachers are paid, the greater students outcomes.Looking at teachers salaries can tell a little bit about how well the teachers are treated. Over 20 countries have better teacher salaries than the US relative to other graduates. South Korea, Spain, Canada, Portugal and many others are ahead of US. Italy, Hungary, Chile, Czech Republic, Slovak Republic are behind the US regarding teachers salaries.

2.Money is not everything for teachers. Many people choose this profession for respect. Teachers have the highest status in China, Turkey, Greece, and South Korea. Teachers in countries such as the Czech Republic, Brazil, and Italy don’t command high respect.In the United States, France, Turkey and China, primary teachers are regarded more highly than the secondary teachers. In Greece and China, head teachers are seen as administrative staff and ranked below primary and secondary teachers.
3.The status of educators is examined by finding whether people want their children to become teachers or not.
In China, 50% parents encourage their children to become teachers whereas, in Israel, only 8% parents want their children to choose this profession. In the United States, about 35% parents would encourage their children to become teachers.
4. In US, Brazil, France, and Turkey, people consider the role of teachers similar to librarians. In New Zealand, the teaching job is seen as similar to the nursing job. In Japan, people think teachers to be similar to government managers. In China, people compare teachers with doctors.
5. Among the bottom five is Ghana where Teachers are least respected. A few African countries were used for the research and among them, Ghana came last in terms of teacher prestige or value. 


With the current concern about low teacher status or prestige in Ghana, it seems quite reasonable for educational planners and in the new reforms to consider placing great emphasis on raising the prestige or status. And this can be done through deliberate policies in our arts,movies, music, drama, high salaries as China have done. 


Now we can say beyond doubt that respecting teachers isn't only an important moral duty, its essential for a country's educational outcomes. 


Also, presenting teaching as a profession in which social respect is the only reward is doomed to failure. There is no free lunch for government that want teachers to do more for less.







Monday, 24 June 2019

BITTER TRUTH- CERTIFICATES ARE OVERRATED

Don't use your little money to pursue PhDs, MPhil, MBA when you have upcoming children to take care of. You can Own Businesses that can have very transformational change in your life than certificates.

Your family can't inherit the Job and Certificates you pursue but they can at least inherit your Printing and stationery business, Agriculture Business, Fast food joint and co.

You can die whilst Pursuing the course, you may be frustrated by the institution and may never complete the course(now your destiny, money wasted), you may never get promoted, motivated even with those certifications.

Life is not about big certificates, but good relationship and how much your life has touch and change people for God. Mention can be made of so many people in our part of the world with few certificates but caused great change in Ghana/ world and beyond like Mensah Otabil, Mother Theresah, Ali Dangote , Asuma Banda , Yaa Asantewaa etc.

Have a Rethink and invest that money in your children and a business now. Too much of certificates doesn't buy you success.

Buy a plot of land by the road today, build shops and create business plans for your children, get them engaged. Jobs should be part-time not a permanent source of survival. Let's think of multiple streams of income as measure to solve our financial challenges . Salaries are meant to be seed money for setting up our permanent businesses and not for consumption.
The president of Kenya puts it better in the above quote.

COPYING BLINDLY A BANE OF THIS GENERATION



Anklets are not just meant for fashion just like rings, they have have historical background and meanings. Its quite interesting how now people especially ladies just wear them because they claim it's sexy and use it as fashion without understanding reason/s behind what they're wearing. Are you aware anklets can define your relationship status? Are you aware the same anklet can describe you as a prostitute? Are you also aware the same anklet can help identify your status in the society?

Because others are wearing so some just the bandwagon just like that. It's good to live your free lives but whatever you do defines you to others. Everything in life has a meaning. Have you ever sat down to ask yourself why only Queen mothers wore anklets in your culture and not every member of the community? Do you think the queen mothers wore it just because it's looked sexy as you also say or because there is a 'cultural or traditional reason' to it.

We need to know the historical antecedent of a lot of things we do. Even the type of anklet you wear could define you, though depending on your jurisdiction.

In some countries, much as the wedding ring is usually worn on the left ring finger that way expressing its owner's marital status, the anklets were also once gifted to the bride by the groom as a symbol of love and the wish to become her official husband. The women wearing anklets on their right ankles were being referred as prostitutes. Others were used to identify slaves and some slaves also used anklets as talisman.

Apart from the cultural meanings, there's also a religious view on it. Many ladies need to read more on it to understand and know where, when and the type to wear to define them.  Just as wearing a ring on a particular finger can help identify you as a married person, a homosexual, a person in a committed relationship etc anklets also give meaning and an identification to whoever wears it depending on the jurisdiction and culture and traditions of the people.

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

CONTINUOUS PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT-THE NEW PARADIGM

The 21st century world we live in now ,time never stands still. So it is vitally important that you embark on continuous personal development to catch up with the fast changing world.
There are several areas or tools one can take the opportunity to develop his skills or knowledge.
Some of these tools to use are:

Top 10 Sites for your career:

1. LinkedIN
2. Indeed
3. Careerealism
4. Job-Hunt
5. JobBait
6. Careercloud
7. GM4JH
8. Personalbrandingblog
9. Jibberjobber
10. Neighbors-helping-neighbors

Top 10 Sites to learn Excel for free:

1. Microsoft Excel Help Center
2. Excel Exposure
3. Chandoo
4. Excel Central
5. Contextures
6. Excel Hero
7. Mr. Excel
8. Improve Your Excel
9. Excel Easy
10. Excel Jet

Top 10 Sites for Free Online Education:

1. Coursera
2. edX
3. Khan Academy
4. Udemy
5. iTunesU Free Courses
6. MIT OpenCourseWare
7. Stanford Online
8. Codecademy
9. Open Culture Online Courses
10. TED-Ed

Top 10 Sites to review your resume for free:

1. Zety Resume Builder
2. Resumonk
3. resume.com
4. VisualCV
5. Cvmaker
6. ResumUP
7. Resume Genius
8. Resumebuilder
9. Resume Baking
10. Enhancv

Top 10 Sites for Interview Preparation:

1. Ambitionbox
2. AceTheInterview
3. Geeksforgeeks
4. Leetcode
5. Gainlo
6. Careercup
7. Codercareer
8. InterviewUp
9. InterviewBest
10. Indiabix

Top 10 Tech Skills in demand in 2019:

1. Machine Learning
2. Mobile Development
3. SEO/SEM Marketing
4. Data Visualization
5. Data Engineering
6. UI/UX Design
7. Cyber-security
8. Cloud Computing/AWS
9. Blockchain
10. IOT

Sunday, 16 June 2019

BEST WAY TO TRACE YOUR STOLEN PHONE

If you lose your mobile phone, you can trace it without going to the police.

Most of us always fear that our phones may be stolen at any time.

Each phone carries a unique
IMEI no. i.e. International Mobile Equipment Identity No which can be used to track it anywhere in the world.

This is how it works:

1. Dial *#06# from your mobile.

2. Your mobile phone shows a unique 15 digit.

3. Note down this number at a secure place except in your mobile phone itself as this is the number which will help trace your phone in case of theft.

4. Once stolen, just E-mail this 15 digit IMEI No. to cop@vsnl.net with details as stated below:

Your name:____________________
Address:______________________
Phone model:_________________
Make:_________________________
Last used No.:_________________
E-mail for communication:_____
Missed date:___________________
IMEI No :_______________________

5.Your Mobile will be traced within next 24 hours via a complex system of GPRS and internet, You will find where your hand set is being operated and the new user's No. will be sent to your email.
6. After this, you can inform the Police with the details you now have.

By Funmi Fayose

IS THE FUTURE BLEAK OR BRIGHT?


As I closely observed at the time when candidates were getting ready to write their examination, teachers combed the whole planet to assist such pupils to do well.
Both intellectual and psychological help was given by the teachers. Heavenly guidance was sought and hopes were high. Body, soul and mind were fully prepared.
Now the exams began, and the sad reality dawned on us!
Cheating...
Cheating...
Cheating...
The worst of it all is the fact that some teachers are the kingpins of this backward operation, crippling our collective effort to root out corruption from our existence! What is wrong with some of us?
Students are now very proud to narrate how cunningly they were able to circumvent the officials with the help of their teachers. Really? TEACHERS?
Funny enough, we expect such young chaps to grow and become RESPONSIBLE CITIZEN? In our widest dreams!
Buildings will collapse in the hands of such future architects...
Patients will die in the hands of such future doctors/nurses...
State funds will be plundered and national coffers will be drained by such future leaders...
And ultimately, they will become future cheaters, not teachers, to POISON our very own children!
No wonder we have lots of people who are very qualified on PAPER but in reality, they are nitwits and dullards.
You can't sow bad and expect to reap good. No, it doesn't work that way. Karma and posterity will always be at play.

Hmmm, my heart aches. I cry, not for myself, for the future that some of us are destroying in the present.

As I observed carefully and closely, the future is not bright at all.
I cry not for myself but for my children.

The way forward in curbing this nuisance and canker is the use of ICT devices like CCTV ,Computerised examination and individualised examination questions. WAEC and other examination bodies should put their arsenals together to stop this disturbing phenomena ones and for all. Otherwise the future does not look bright.