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Would teachers in Ghana sacrifice salary for technology? Plus two other interesting findings...

10 February 2020

Welcome to our weekly blog for Teacher Tapp Ghana!

Every Monday we summarise our most surprising and interesting survey findings from the week before. This weekly blog provides an easy way for you to learn about the experiences and opinions of teachers across Ghana.

Before we dive into our exciting findings, we just wanted to remind you all about…

🥳 CPD Day! 🥳

CPD Day is on Thursday 20th February and entitles all teachers in Ghana to a day in school focused on their own professional development. As CPD for teachers in Ghana is our main mission, we’re busy getting useful resources and activities for you to use on the day.

Access to these resources can be found on our webpage here. Why not use them to organise an activity for your school CPD Day? Remember, this can be recorded in your portfolio for the NTC’s promotion process.

In the mean time, here are three of our most intriguing findings from the past week…

1 . You’re feeling inspired…

Feeling inspired on a Monday is a great way to start the week. And it looks like quite a few of you are lucky enough to have this experience!

We asked you last Monday whether you work with any colleagues who inspire you to be a great teacher. Nearly half of you told us you work with lots of these colleagues.

A further 39% of you told us that you have at least one colleague that inspires you. Being inspired by colleagues around you has many benefits. You can ask inspirational colleagues for mentoring and guidance, as well as working with them to see how you can improve your own practice. If you’re lucky enough to work with someone inspirational, make sure you make the most out of it!

However you feel about your colleagues, you don’t necessarily feel as inspired by your school. Just over 1-in-3 of you told us that your school does not inspire you to be the best at your job.

What could be going on in these schools where teachers have lower levels of motivation? With so many of your speaking in praise of your colleagues, it seems unlikely that they are the problem.

The problem could be the way the school is organised, the curriculum and even the students. To help find out more, we’ll be asking questions to try and further understand what makes the difference between schools in Ghana that inspire and schools that don’t.

2 . You love technology…but love your salary even more!

Last week we wanted to ask you a tough question that would really make you think. We started out quite gently by asking you how you felt about all students in Ghana being given a free laptop. The response was overwhelmingly positive, with 73% of you agreeing that this is something that should happen.

Given how positive our users have been about technology, this did not come as a big surprise. We’ve learned in the past few weeks that teachers in Ghana believe ICT is the most important subject for students to learn in school to get them ready for the 21st century and that educational technology is good value for money.

We then made things more challenging. We asked you whether you would take a paycut of 2% in order to finance the project of giving every student in Ghana a laptop. Despite how much you love technology, 71% of you said that you would not.

This question highlights the fact that any new educational initiative seems appealing until we consider the personal costs that it might entail. Under such circumstances, it turns out that as much as our users value technology for their students, they value their salary even more.

This is understandable. Many of you have told us your salaries are low and therefore any cuts made to it would make a big impact on your personal quality of life. You are only human, after all, and need to look after yourself and your family.

It is also important to remember that nearly 1-in-5 of our users said they would be happy to take such a paycut to ensure all students had a laptop. This is remarkably selfless of our users. Although, it could show that some teachers in Ghana earn a lot more than others and are therefore less concerned about taking a paycut…

3 . You work a lot, but don’t seem to mind…

Recently you told us that workload was the main reason you feel stressed about your job. So we asked a few follow-up questions to find out just how much you’re working and how you feel about it.

When we asked you how many hours a day, in addition to classroom teaching, you spend on your job 38% of you told us that you spend four hours or more.

With school days in Ghana lasting around 7 hours, this would mean that 38% of our users have a working day that is at least 11 hours. 11 hour days make up a 55 hour working week, which is slightly longer than the average working week for teachers in the UK of 51.5 hours. It is, however, one of the longest working weeks for teachers in the world according to the available data.

So, many of our users in Ghana work very long hours. How do they feel about this workload? Surprisingly, 64% of you told us you believe your current workload is acceptable.

Although the response was largely positive, we should not forget that nearly 1-in-3 of you told us your workload is not acceptable. In fact, the number may be higher than that. Individuals responding to surveys can often say positive things even when their personal attitude is quite negative. Similarly they might also say they agree with statement even though they actually disagree as they think this will be helpful to the person asking the questions!

To try and understand the issue a little bit better, we’re going to be asking questions in the coming weeks about why you work so much. Is it because you feel pressured by your senior leadership team? Do you want to make sure your students achieve the best results? Maybe, you just enjoy working? You’ll have to wait until next week’s Monday blog to find out the answer…

4. Finally, we know you’re finding our daily readings useful, so here are all of the ones from last week…