The continuous increase in prices of goods and services in the country has compelled teachers to demand for cost of living allowance (COLA).
Describing their salary as ‘meagre’, some teachers say they live on loans to enable them adequately cater for their families.
But in the midst of this financial difficulty faced by many teachers, others are engaging in supplementary livelihood activities.
Ibrahim Abubakar throws a spotlight on a Senior High School teacher in Kumasi, Michael Adombila, who sells khebab to earn additional income. He has been teaching for the past 12 years.
He taught from the primary, junior high, and currently rendering his services at the senior high school level.
A teacher at Islamic SHS in Kumasi, Michael is passionate about his profession.
As a degree holder, the father of five earns a little above GH₵2,000.00 as salary.
Realising he can’t depend solely on his salary to cater for the needs of his family, the 38-year-old has found love in khebab business.
He says “the salary level cannot support the daily life in Ghana so I’ve decided to make it part of my business. I do my khabab business after school and on weekends. On the average, I make a minimum profit of GH₵50.00 daily but on a good day I can make about GH₵250.00 profit. At least it helps in adequately taking care of my family”
Delving into the cost of living and catering and survival, the teacher cum khebab seller indicated that: “As a family of 7 (myself, my wife and 5 children), I spend at least GH₵150.00 and if you’re to multiply that by 30 days, I’ll need not less than GH₵4,500.00. But my salary as a teacher is half of the amount. So it is compulsory I do other side hustle, else, I will just like some colleagues of mine, live on loan.
Mr. Adombila added his voice to some colleagues of his who have said the 20% COLA is nothing to write home about with the high inflation in perspective.
“For me, the 20% cost of living allowance requested by our leadership is even small considering the astronomical increase in prices of goods and services.
“What we used to buy at GH₵1.00 is now GH₵5.00 but same salary. Transportation, rent, and utilities have all seen increment. So we are justified with our demand and even deserve more. Teaching is a noble profession but the returns is not encouraging at all,” he included in his submission.