Research Allowances, SHS return to school and a very strange time for Ghana's 2020 elections!

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.

Please encourage your colleagues to use the Teacher Tapp app to keep engaged with education even when they’re not teaching. Your responses are also a vital data source that GES will be using to help in their decision-making around best policies and approaches to managing the current crisis.

If you’d like to bring more teachers to Teacher Tapp, please share this blog with your colleagues and encourage them to use the download links at the bottom of the page. In the mean time, here are this week’s intriguing findings…

1. More money, More problems

The recent GES announcement of a 1,200 cedi research allowance has been met with mixed responses. Despite there being little clarity over why this particular figure was selected, teachers overwhelmingly told us that they have a clear idea what they would like to spend this research allowance on.

This suggests you have a strong sense of what parts of your teaching practice you would like to improve and a know which courses or books to take to enact this improvement.

However, 1 in 3 of you told us that you do not believe 1,200 cedis is a sufficient amount to meet your personal goals for improving your practice. How much would be enough? Drop us an email at baz@teachertapp.co.uk to let us know!

Aside from the raw amount, a further area of controversy for teachers is the fact that this research allowance is the same for all teachers, independent of how senior they are in the profession. As teachers are promoted they encounter new situations and managerial tasks that might need extra, sometimes more expensive, professional development.

We asked you if you agreed that research allowances should increase with promotion and you generally did. However, when we analysed your results by subject, we noticed that teachers of maths and English were particularly enthusiastic about this idea.

Why might this be? Let us know in a email to baz@teacherapp.co.uk!

2 . The strangest election year

While it seems hard to imagine now, 2020 is an election year.

We asked you what policies were most important to you for the upcoming race and you ranked education and healthcare at the very top. Not far behind was the economy.

These answers shouldn’t surprise – all three areas have been enormously affected by the COVID-19 crisis and political analysis suggest they will have a long-term impact on Ghanaian society for the next few years.

But whatever policies you value, have campaigning politicians done enough to construct these policies around your interests? We asked you this and the general consensus seems to be that political parties have not done enough to appeal to teachers.

There is some cynicism that GES has issued the research allowance as a way of corralling support for the NPP. But what are the political parties missing? What policies would you like to see from them? Let us know at baz@teachertapp.co.uk.

3 . Support for the SHS return

Final year SHS students return to school today to finish the senior curriculum before taking exams in August.

Generally this plan has received support from our users. Nearly 90% were in favour of the plan and supported SHS students not being allowed to see their parents during their stay in school.

One area of disagreement has been about access to mobile phones for SHS students. Devices would help students keep in touch with family and friends during a difficult time. This is a policy that nearly two thirds of you agreed with.

The next question would be whether these mobile phones should come from home or whether schools should provide these for students. It sounds like a radical idea, but perhaps a time like this calls for such ideas! We’ll be finding out more of your thoughts on this in the coming week.

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

PLUS, nearly all our readings this week have been written by teachers in Ghana! Read them here –

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