Regional News of Thursday, 30 January 2014
The Northern Network for Education Development (NNED), a non-governmental organization advocating for quality education, has indicated that there was teacher surplus of about 22,500 in the country.
Mr Gaskin Dasaah, National Coordinator of NNED who revealed this in Tamale on Wednesday said the Junior High Schools (JHS) had surplus of 21,630 and 1,500 at the primary level, and that the kindergarten level was in excess of 16,000.
He was addressing a forum on deployment of teachers in Ghana organized by NNED and supported by STAR-Ghana and Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO).
The forum was attended by Directors of Education, as well as Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) and National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) members in the three northern regions.
Using the 2013 Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition (GNECC) report as the bases of his research, Mr Dasaah explained that the trend occurred because there was no effective deployment or posting of teachers to places where they were needed most.
He said “Teachers are choked in schools in the cities while many of the classrooms are empty in the rural areas.”
According to him, this situation compromised pupils’ performance in the rural areas; stressing that the Greater Accra Region had the highest proportion of trained teachers at the basic level, while the Upper East Region had the lowest in the country.
“The evidence is that whereas the primary level pupil teacher ratio is as high as 136:1 in the Kpandai District, that of Tamale Metro is 40:1,” he emphasized.
He therefore, called on the Ghana Education Service (GES) to redeploy teachers from the urban or endowed areas to deprived rural areas, and suggested that District Assemblies be given the autonomy to hire and fire teachers.
Mr Iddrisu Mahama, Upper West Regional Director of Education said the GES sought to create an enabling environment in all educational institutions and management positions that would facilitate effective teaching and learning.
He said a collation exercise was being conducted to collect data and information in terms of numbers, skills and vacancies available in the various levels of schools managements in the regions and districts for analysis and action.
Mr Mahama said the staff rationalization exercise was consistent with the aims and strategic objectives of the GES, and urged teachers to refrain from the mindset that the exercise was to cause pain to them.
Madam Logonia Mama Joyce, Deputy Northern Regional Secretary of GNAT suggested to the Ministry of Education and the GES to carry out the rationalization exercise in phases according to their resources, warning that if care was not taken, the exercise could cause disharmony and chaos.
She advised that transfer grants and other entitlements must be given to teachers on transfer saying, “We appreciate the need and right of the GES to effect transfers on a just course, without sacrificing their obligations and teachers’ rights.”