May 30, 2024 7:33 pm

Meet the 36-year-old teacher who swims to school to teach primary 1 to 6

You would be fortunate to find up to ten teachers in schools across districts in rural Ghana.

And that’s not only because teachers are in short supply but primarily because of poor education outcomes.

Apart from poor planning and policy gaps that make an already poor situation worse, infrastructure deficit is also high.

Kwame Mensah is a 36 year old teacher who is looking beyond all the glaring challenges to help rural pupils.

But as head teacher of the Lonpe MA Primary School, the burden is even higher.

He would have to traverse an incredibly long distance to be in school on time. But how he manages to get to school when his means of transport is unavailable, like when his motorbike broke down one day, is a story to behold.

After a 9 kilometre ride offered him by a good samaritan who was returning from hospital with his wife, he would have had to swim across a river –Dakar — and then continue for three more kilometres.

These challenges coupled with poor infrastructure and lack of furniture and textbooks makes this even more dire.

Kwame’s connection with rural schools begun when he completed college in 2009 and has since moved from one school to another and admits, teaching here is frustrating as it is dangerous.

“Teaching in rural communities is not an easy task especially as I have to swim across this river everyday to get to my school. My family is very worried”

“The pupils are at a huge disadvantage because I have to teach all the classes from basic one to six and this is stressful”

Education watchers have maintained the uneven distribution of resources between the urban and rural areas and the ultimate outcomes require a review.

Executive director of Africa Education Watch – Ghana, Kofi Asare, has been doing a lot of work in this regard.

He believes the time is now to demand concrete action on rural education if something is to change.

A recent survey conducted by his organization, Edu Watch reveal, more than 42,000 teachers left the profession in 2021 alone.

Data from Social Education Research further also indicates, at least 10,000 teachers leave the classroom every year to seek other job opportunities.

The situation continues to impact the teacher and the learner especially in the rural communities.

As Ghana seeks to achieve zero hunger among other SDGs, government reforms must also consider the plight of the rural teacher.

Until then, things would remain dire and even deteriorate further.

Source: Onuaonline

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