Land of doctors, engineers, lawyers and pilots

Mon, 14 Dec 2020 Source: Edinam Ahiably-Kumordjie

In my first professional job as a teacher, I decided to ask my pupils in basic 5 the kind of profession they would like to pursue. The responses I got wasn't different from the responses I got from other kids I've asked the same question. Most of the pupils wanted to become medical doctors, engineers, lawyers and pilots

I have wondered for years why most Ghanaian kids would always want to become one of the above-mentioned professionals.

I remember telling my mum I wanted to become an agriculturist as a young boy but my she wouldn't agree. I then decided to become a businessman. This was because my mum had asked me to study business at senior high school instead of the science I preferred.

Never did it occurred to me that I could and would become a teacher.

After high school, I decided to pursue a career in soccer because I was very good at it but my main attraction was the money soccer players earn, the cars, huge apartments and what not.

I somehow ended up at the Kumasi Technical University where are reluctantly studied marketing. After the three year study I couldn't even sell a cup of water to a thirsty man on a desert.

The next thing was national service and still no clear career to pursue. I arrived at my station-Asesewa Government Hospital. What can a 'professional marketer' like me do in a hospital?

Just beside where a rented room was a public basic school. One day after work I met a group of pupils studying in the school and they ask if I can assist them in mathematics. Why not? I said.

I remember teaching them the addition of fractions and they clearly understood what I taught. I was very happy I was able to help the kids and for the first time I felt some joy within me that I wish all could see.

It still never crossed my mind that I could be a teacher. I made it a point to assist the kids everyday after work. The joy in me kept growing until I decided to go to school to be trained as a teacher.

Fast forward to 2020 and I am the mathematics and science teacher at Asuboni No 3 Presby Basic School.

My journey to becoming a teaching displays the inability of our education system to provide a comprehensive career guidance plan in our schools. No concious effort is being made to put our young and innocent kids on the right career path.

A lot of pupils are making the same mistakes I made years back. Students choose careers with prestige and relatively high income hence the preference of becoming a doctor, engineer, lawyer, pilot etc.

Parents on the other hand also put pressure on their wards to choose a certain career path they think is more glorifying and respectable.

The fact of the matter is that all of us can't be doctors or engineers. I personally think that am better off being a teacher than an agriculturist, businessman or a soccer player.

We all have capabilities that teachers and parents must collaborate to assist kids to discover. It is really fun doing something that makes you happy all the time and earning some cash. Can you imagine earning money for doing what makes you happy?

I can't compare my salary to that of a medical doctor but I can certainly say am more happier than a doctor who was forced to become one.

There are too many doctors, engineers and pilots in our classrooms. I do hope that going forward we would have some sort of diversity in terms of career choices in our classrooms.

Edinam Ahiably-kumordjie


Columnist: Edinam Ahiably-Kumordjie