The falling standard of education, especially in rural Ghana, had been blamed on inadequate teachers in
the classrooms, though a survey conducted by the
Ministry of Education has shown that there are over fifteen thousand excess teachers in the Greater Accra Region. The study also shows that most of the teachers
were in the region because they refused postings to the rural areas, where their services are most
needed. The Deputy Minister of Education, responsible for Tertiary Education, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwah,
revealed this at public lecture on education
decentralisation under the theme: “Education
Decentralisation: updates of progress and clarification of stokehold concerns,” yesterday at Accra.
According to the Deputy Minister, the said teachers were not originally posted to Accra after their training, but worked their way out to be stationed in the capital city.
“As soon as they are posted, they will find out which chief, which pastor, and which Imam knows an MD who knows a minister, or who knows the GES Director General to help them with all sorts of excuses; I am newly married; my marriage is on the rocks, if allowed my marriage will break. Some other excuses include ‘I’m having a child with sickle cells and can only be catered for in Accra
and all that.’ I hear interesting stories every day,” he worriedly said.
He stated that the government has adopted a system to redistribute the excess teachers back to base to ensure equity in the education sector.
On teachers’ absenteeism, Mr. Okudzeto Ablawah
added that the government was winning the war over teachers’ non-appearance in the classrooms, as the percentage of teachers that absent themselves from the classrooms has drop from 27% to 9-11%.
He explained that out of the 387,000 teachers at the basic level, over 1,000 don’t show up in the classrooms, yet go to the banks to collect their salaries. This, he described as “criminal and unaccepted. Look at the number. You have 387,000 teachers at the basic level, and more than quarter absent themselves from school.” Mr. Okudzeto Ablawah, however, could not accept the reasons the teachers used to absent themselves from school, adding: “When you go into the statics, you will know there should be no
excuses for teachers’ absenteeism.” He also called for the restructuring of the process used to
promote teachers to become head teachers, as the current system whereby one must rise through the ranks to become head teacher was not enough.
Touching on the subject on the day, he
emphasised that the government was committed to
education decentralisation reforms, since the
President, John Dramani Mahama, personally chairs the committee responsible for education decentralisation.
The Deputy Minister urged other education actors like the Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition (GNECC) and United States Agency for
International Development (USAID) to critically look at how the nation can address the negative side of education decentralisation.
At the same programme was the Vice Chairperson of National Development Commission (NDPC) and former Director of the Institute of Local Government Studies, Dr. Esther Ofei Aboagye, who said, though education decentralisation can come about several
benefits, challenges such as delays in capitation grant, books, chalks, furniture and corruption might affect the process.
ⓒ PEMTSIKATA NEWS