A teacher who heeded to the plea of the government to accept posting to rural communities and voluntarily took transfer from his former school to a rural school has narrated a touching fairy tale of his ordeals and described how he escaped death somewhere in September last year.
Mohammed Baba, a 41 year old trained head teacher of Mbatingna Primary school who voluntarily took transfer from Jimile primary school in the Yendi Municipality to Mbatingna, a rural community under the Mion Constituency under the Yendi Municipality amidst insults from his colleagues is regretting making such a move.
He narrowly escaped death in September last year, 2010 when his mud “bungalow” accommodation provided for him and other teachers by the community nearly collapsed on him. Since moving to that community seven years ago, his wife who resides in Tamale have refused to join him or visit him because of the deplorable state of his accommodation, he told the Enquirer in an exclusive interview in his school.
“It was raining amidst lighting and thunder that fateful night when my room collapsed. I did not know how I managed to get out of the collapsed room. I just realized I was standing in the rain alive I have just escaped death in service to the nation”, he narrated as tears begin to drip down from his face.
Pointing his hands at his accommodation which can best be described as death trap, Mr. Baba bemoaned that his life has not witnessed any change since coming into the rural school after heeding to calls by the government to workers particularly teachers to accept posting to rural communities. “Though I came here voluntarily to help nurture these vulnerable children to brightens their future, the government’s plea to people to accept posting for incentives is a vague promise”, he said.
Aside this difficult situation that he finds himself he receives no incentive with his diminutive monthly salary life seems to becoming tougher to head teacher who now contemplates abandoning the over 270 pupils to seek greener pastures in cities or town. He said he would stay if a decent accommodation could be built for the staff and means of transport provider to aid their movement.
While his colleagues who recently embarked on strike to demand better placement of salary and working conditions of service under the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSS) were on the streets demonstrating, Mr. Baba and other teachers under him were in class to help brighten the future of these vulnerable rural children who were in dire need of education to improve their living conditions.
Mr. Baba tells me he has no friends apart from his 270 pupils who were in dire need of education for a better future. His wife who resides in Tamale, the Northern Regional capital city has involuntarily denied him sex and refused to join him because of the deplorable state of the community road, and his accommodation.
Now the head teacher is in serious pain and regrettable mood and is threatening to leave the school if the Yendi Municipal Assembly and for that matter the government failed to provide him a decent accommodation.
But for his desire to nurture these vulnerable children for a better future he would have left the school two years ago for city and well endowed school where he would spend few hours teaching and use the rest of his time doing his personal businesses like some of his colleagues.
The frustrated head teacher threatened to leave Mbatingna primary school after several letters and notes to the Yendi Municipal Assembly and Ghana Education Service (GES) to come to the aid of the teachers and the school yielded no result.
Mr. Baba told the Enquirer his passion for children forced him to move to the school but would have no alternative than to abandon the pupils because life was coming unbearable to him and his colleague teachers some of who are trained teachers. “Some newly trained teachers posted to school just came to assess the area and left and that was all they never came back again”, he said.
Mbatingna has no clean drinking water; transportation is difficult because of the deplorable nature of the road, no market and clinic so the people depended much on herbal treatment. The nearest clinic and market center about 35 km away.
The community is now mobilizing to put up another mud bungalow for the teachers as temporal measures while waiting for support from elsewhere to save the school from collapsing.
The authorities of the Yendi Municpal Assembly refused to comments on the matter when contacted by the Enquirer.
However, the future of these rural vulnerable children is uncertain if the authorities failed to give attention to the rehabilitation of the school block, teachers accommodation, and the construction of the road and community clinic to serve the people’s education, economic, social and health needs.