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Regional News of Thursday, 5 June 2014

Source: myjoyonline.com

Schools shutdown as teachers desert Afram Plains

The future of some pupils in the various schools in the Kwahu Afram Plains North District in the Eastern Region is at risk as their classrooms have been left vacant with no teachers.

Though the district has 62 schools, there is a severe shortage of teachers.

A reporter with the Ghana News Agency McAnthony Dagyenga, who visited the Kwahu Afram Plains district, explained to Joy News’ Hannah Odame that teachers in the area shuttle between teaching 100 Kindergarten pupils and those in the basic schools.

He said due to the lack of teachers, two of the four Junior High Schools were closed down and the pupils distributed between the remaining two. Only six (6) teachers are taking the two schools.

McAnthony Dagyena says the situation is dire on the Dwarf Island where many teachers have refused postings.

The situation has been a challenge for the district and regional education directorate partly because there is a freeze on employment of teachers into the service.

In addition to that, the DCE of the Kwahu Afram Plains, Windham Emil Afram, fears the crossing of the Volta River to the schools, is one of the major reasons that is keeping the teachers away.

He also decried the lack of social amenities in the area as a major problem discouraging teachers from the cities.

WAY FORWARD

Mr. Emil Afram said he is working with the district director of education to get approval from the regional office of the Ghana Education Service so that active teachers on retirement would be re-engaged.

He is hopeful this would go a long way to “help our poor and disadvantaged students on the island”.

It would however be “very difficult” to pay these retirees, he admitted. The area would therefore be counting on the GES to pay them with support from the district assembly, he said.

The district, he added, would be looking out for senior high school graduates who hail from Afram Plains to be given orientation and better package to teach there.

“Virtually all the schools are collapsing because there are no teachers,” he complained. Worst still, he said the pupils there “have not seen any computers before” but would be expected to write the same Basic Education Certificate Examination with pupils from the big cities with all the necessary educational facilities.

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