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Regional News of Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Source: B&FT

7,600 teaching posts vacant in Northern region

Hundreds of schools in the Northern Region, one of the most deprived areas in the country, are in dire need of more than 7,600 trained teachers.

The Northern Regional Director of Education, Paul Apanga, revealed at an educational forum in Tamale that about 404 schools in the region do not have a single trained teacher, leaving the running of the educational establishments in the care of volunteers and untrained teaching personnel.

He said the situation has accounted for the abysmal performance of schools, in the various examinations conducted by the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC), requiring thousands of teachers to be posted to the area.

“The region needs more than 7,652 teachers to occupy the various schools to help improve on the academic performance in the region,” he said.

The forum, put together by IBIS in collaboration with the School for Life, brought together local government officials, educationists, and traditional rulers in the region to deliberate on issues impeding education among the various communities.

The Northern Region, which is about 10 hours drive from the country's capital, Accra, contains 26 districts - none of which had a senior high school that made it into the top 130 schools in the latest WASSCE rankings released by the Statistics, Research, Information, Management and Public relations (SRIMPR) Division of the Ministry of Education.

Over the past five years, the region with a population of about 2.5 million inhabitants has scored below average results in their schools.

Meanwhile, the Tamale metropolis - the regional capital - boasts a surplus of trained teaching personnel, most of which are alleged to have refused postings to rural and deprived areas.

Mr. Apanga said that the regional directorate has identified and earmarked about 2,000 teachers in the Tamale metropolis and the Sagnerigu District to be re­posted to schools lacking trained teachers.

“The metropolis is overstaffing with teachers in the primary, which has accounted for the teacher absenteeism in schools. Therefore, there is a need to re­post such teachers to the other communities which need their service,” he said.

He urged the various district assemblies to initiate programmes lo fund and sponsor the education of trainee teachers to guarantee that such personnel will be posted to their area.

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