Dear Sir,
I am very humbled to see the light of this day and to ink my thoughts in this letter to you. I hope this letter finds you in good health.

For the past few days, I have been boiling within from reading a notice that hit our various whatsapp groups. The notice in focus is a letter served by the Ministry of Education to the various Regional Directors of Education and Colleges of Education informing final year teacher trainees to fill their posting forms online. The message has been attached to this letter for the benefit of doubts.

My concern has never been about the posting itself but about district sponsorship forms. To the best of my understanding, for someone to sponsor you, the person has to pay your fees in full or part. It could again be in terms of your feeding or books. Well, that is just my thought as a final year teacher trainee.

Sir, I am yet to harbor any doubts in mind that you are very much aware of the district sponsorship and the rationale behind it. For the benefit of the sundry reading this post, I shall state the rationale out word for word.

'RATIONALE FOR SPONSORSHIP: Equity distribution of teachers is one of the biggest problems confronting the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service. Most schools in the disadvantaged areas are without teachers because it has been difficult to get trained teachers to accept posting to the rural areas. To have equity distribution and also to ensure that districts respond quickly to teacher demand in their schools, it was decided that Districts should be allowed to sponsor students for training. The Sponsorship scheme is an attempt to meet the challenge of shortage of qualified teachers in the rural and other disadvantaged areas. The teacher trainees who are sponsored would be contracted to teach in the Districts that sponsored them for a period of at least three years after completion of their course.'

According to the rationale for sponsorship as stated just above, one has to apply for sponsorship just as soon as they gain admission into any of the colleges. I have been informed duly (I stand to be corrected though) that District Sponsorships have been erased (that is sponsorship before entry into any college).

Sir, as of the moment of writing this letter, it is a tradition that before one completes a college and gains employment in a district of his choice, one must have to apply for sponsorship to such districts. Amazingly, one never gets a penny from such districts. The only thing you get is a signature and an automatic employment (at least, that is how it looks). Again, I am not so worried about that.

My worry however is that, this creates opportunity for some people at the helm of affairs at the various District Education offices to enrich themselves unlawfully in the name of poor teacher trainees who hardly get money to buy handouts. Sir, it is so disheartening to know that cheque are signed and issued out to cover the fees of students who apply for such sponsorships yet only God knows the end of such monies.

Everyone could easily decide not to go in for the sponsorship forms since mostly, one would be in his final year before the order comes for one to work on their postings. One would not need sponsorships by then and so could easily forgo them and resort to being posted to just 'anywhere'. Well, unless you are ready to face the only threat of being posted to a cottage in the north where you would have no good drinking water and electricity, you can try that.

So, reluctantly, 98 percent or more of teacher trainees are forced to go in for the sponsorships thereby enriching the 'big men' the more.

Mine is not war but a mere plea to the various bodies involved responsible through you, the Director General that, the district sponsorship be removed since it has as well become a white elephant. It is so glaring today that teachers are been produced on a large scale hence making the district sponsorship nonessential. It has over-lived its essence. I hereby plead that with our quest to quench the burning flames of corruption in our beloved nation, a stop be put to the district sponsorship scheme.

Well, I do not really know for how long this has gone on but I know definitely that we shall as well serve as prey to the ‘big men’ again this year. I only hope something is done to save those after us. But till then, I am still boiling within for we are unduly being used to exploit our beloved nation’s purse.

am hoping to see changes in the system soon.
Thank you.
Yours faithfully,
Gabla Godwin.
(An embattled teacher