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General News of Thursday, 30 April 2015

Source: Graphic.com.gh

45,000 extra teachers needed for universal basic education

About 45,000 extra teachers are needed to provide universal basic education in the country, a former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Education, Winneba (UEW), Professor Jophus Anamuah-Mensah, has said.

He was addressing the first annual Easter Forum on the theme: “Distance Education: Our hope for sustainable human capacity development in Ghana”, at the University of Cape Coast (UCC) yesterday.

Currently, he said, there were 260,000 basic school teachers, half of which were untrained.

Statistics show that most untrained teachers are found at the kindergarten and the primary levels, where 72.4 per cent of the 42,128 teachers have no training.

At the primary level, this falls to 50.5 percent of 126,596 teachers and drops again to 37 percent of the 90,687 teachers at the junior high school level.

Prof Anamuah-Mensah said basic education in the country faced a serious problem, with about 800,000 children of school age currently out of school.

At the tertiary level of education, he said, traditional approaches to learning were inadequate to overcome the challenge and, therefore, advocated distance education as a panacea to propel access to education.

“The key to rectifying the teacher shortfall in Ghana, though, is not through conventional teacher training but rather the rise of distance education, which has and will continue to be critical because the demand for teachers is so huge,” he said.

Prof Anamuah-Mensah, however, bemoaned the uncoordinated nature of distance education in the country, noting that more than 10 years after distance education was introduced, it was yet to be properly co-ordinated.

The Vice-Chancellor of the UCC, Prof. D.D. Kuupole, stressed the urgent need for collaboration among tertiary institutions to provide quality education, adding, “We need to have a guiding principle on where we are going.”

“So many of us have been left out; we need to strategise and bring everybody on board,” he stressed.

In a speech read on his behalf, the Director-General of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), Major Albert Don-Chebe (rtd), said only about 68,000 people procured university degrees in Ghana a year, saying that was woefully inadequate for human resource development in the country.

He pledged the corporation’s commitment to partner the UCC to provide quality education for Ghanaians.