Quality teaching has become the focus of many education systems including that of Ghana, thus far little attention has been given to teachers and their motivation to ensure quality teaching and improve learning outcomes. This conceptual paper critically examines and analyzes the context of teacher motivation and professional practice in the Ghana Education System. The aim for doing this paper is to become less ethnocentric and to not imminently criticize a familiar system, but to find solutions and examine the current issues in the Ghana Education System. The discussions in this topic analysis paper will focus on the historical context of Ghana followed by the conditions that are causing a lack of motivation among teachers in public high schools as well as efforts put in place to address existing challenges. The proceeding will be an explanation of post-colonial theoretical concepts and how they are involved in teaching. The paper concludes with some future directions for improving the conditions of teachers, in order to improve the quality of teachers’ professionalism and motivation in Ghana.
In order to critically analyze and pinpoint the issues of teacher motivation in public high
schools in Ghana, it is essential to briefly elaborate and analyze the historical context of Ghana as a post-colonial developing country. A post-colonial developing country in this paper seeks to perceive Ghana as a nation striving to achieve independence from the Western world. According to Boahen (1975), Ghana was once under British colonial rule until 1957 when she earned political independence. Prior to this period, the governance of the Gold Coast (now Ghana) was taken over by the British and ruled through a system called indirect rule (Boahen, 1975). The kind of education introduced by the Great Britain focused on literacy and numeracy. Formal education began as Castle Schools ( schools housed in castles where forts were built for slaves in the colonial era) and the target students were mainly the "mulattoes" ( children born out of relationships between the whites and the natives). The creation of these schools served as a borderline between the colonial masters and the natives for the purposes of reading maps to discover golds and learning how to count money (Perbi, 2004).
Despite the unfavorable education introduced by the British in Ghana, teachers at the time were better motivated. For example, the then colonial government under Sir Gordon Guggisberg (1919-1927) initiated several approach to improve the conditions of service of teachers in public schools with the goal of motivating the teachers to quality professional practice. One of the initiatives was an improvement in the salaries of the teachers (McWilliams & Kwamena). Another important initiative pioneered by Guggisberg to ensure effective performance of teachers was the closure of various ghetto schools which delivered deficient quality education (McWilliams & Kwamena-Po, 1975;...