The Teaching Profession in Africa: Challenges and Prospects
Keywords:development, future generation, professionalism, teachers, transformation
Teachers play a very important role in the day-to-day lives of a country and its citizens. They train professionals, experts, innovators and problem-solvers. However, their roles in the development of communities are not commensurate to the salary they are paid and this is enough to explain that teaching is a calling. Nevertheless, whoever qualifies to be a teacher should be valued in terms of time, salary, housing, medical allowance, career and professional development so as to minimize on challenges that can detract their devotion towards this noble profession. Since teachers hold the mantle for future development of any country, countries like Finland and Germany attach a lot of importance to teachers’ welfare. Therefore, being sensitive to teachers’ concerns at all levels of education should be an important matter for governments, parents and other stakeholders so as to prepare critical masses with needed skills of the time. Along similar lines, teachers’ professionalism should be upheld if they are to effectively play the transformative and development role. In this paper, I contend that because of poor teachers’ welfare, their professionalism gets compromised to the end that generation is threatened. This is evidently seen in the challenges faced by the education industry in Africa such as the many school dropouts, incessant strikes, merciless teachers, and moonlighting, among others. This is an alarming situation that can only be mitigated if the African countries come up with practical solutions that take teacher professionalisms as the key to the success of government policies towards human development and transformation. The purpose of this paper is to examine the current situation under which teachers operate and how this affects their professionalism.
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