General News of Friday, 17 February 2017
Comments by the Minister of Education that head teachers of basic and second cycle schools would be sacked should more than 90 percent of their students fail the Basic Education Certificate Examinations (BECE) and West African Senior Secondary School Examination (WASSCE), smacks of lack of leadership skills in him, Christian Addai-Opoku, National President of the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), has said.
According to him, there are several factors that lead to students failing examinations, hence the minister, who is new in office, should rather conduct a probe into the problem to find a lasting solution.
His comments follow a statement made by Dr Prempeh while addressing heads of senior high schools (SHS) in Kumasi as part of a two-day familiarisation tour to the Ashanti Region to the effect that the Ministry would not continue to tolerate school heads who superintend over consistently poor performances.
He said, among other things: "Any school head who superintends over a failure of over 90% cannot be allowed to continue operation without accounting to the Ghana Education Service (GES).”
But reacting to these comments in an interview with Chief Jerry Forson, host of Ghana Yensom, on Accra100.5FM on Thursday, February 16, Mr Addai-Opoku said: “If indeed, the minister made those comments, then he did not show leadership. He did not show leadership because this is his first interaction with teachers as Minister of Education, therefore, he should not have started with a threat.
“We expected him to lay down his vision and mission statements and the plans to achieve those visions. After putting all these down, you rally them (school heads) behind that vision, because in the end there are over 250,000 workers who are supposed to help you achieve that vision.
“The best way to help you achieve your vision is not to threaten them but to motivate them, get them well informed in order that they will rally behind you to achieve your goals.
"And so it is really unfortunate that you assume office with threats on the workers. If the children fail to pass their exams, it is not only teachers to be blamed. There are several factors, and so it doesn't just take one person to get the result.”