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Regional News of Thursday, 7 May 2015

Source: GNA

Sandwich programmes affecting teacher attendance – Research

Research conducted by the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) Ghana, has revealed that sandwich programmes organised for teachers is promoting teacher absenteeism in some public basic schools.

Dr Edward Ampratwum, a Research Officer at CDD-Ghana made this known at the recent International Conference on Education Research for Development in Africa (ICERDA) held in Accra, on the theme "Harnessing education research for evidence-based development".

He disclosed that the situation is worse in the Central Region, where most of the universities run the sandwich programmes and participant teachers of the sandwich programme often abandoned classrooms to attend lectures to the detriment of pupils.

The CDD’s pilot investigation of teacher absenteeism in public primary schools, showed that absenteeism was high on Mondays and highest on Fridays with male teachers more likely to be absent than female teachers.

"The teachers who are taking part in the sandwich programme leave the school on Thursdays or Fridays to attend lectures thereby leaving the classrooms empty," he said.

He said more worrying, was the occurrence of the teachers using their teaching hours to read their notes when they return from lectures, and contracting unprofessional teachers to prepare lesson notes for them on their behalf.

Dr Ampratwum said the situation is affecting quality education even though government has increased its expenditure in the sector.

He called on government, the Ghana education service and other stakeholders to urgently address the situation.

Another research by IMANI Ghana showed that there were leakages in the flow of resources such as textbooks and the capitation grant, from the Ghana Education Service to District Education Offices (DEO) and from the DEOs to the schools, even though government had increased its expenditure in basic education.

Mr Festus Akuetteh Ankrah, Research Officer at IMANI Ghana called for the promotion of quality education to end the menace of youth unemployment.

Professor Cephas Narh Omenyo, Provost of the College of Education, University of Ghana said the conference would be sustained to help develop education in Ghana and Africa at large.

He also noted the absence of doctorate programmes and post-doctoral fellowships in the arena of education research and said the university would work towards filling the gap.