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Regional News of Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Source: GNA

Teacher absenteeism still a threat to quality education

The National Inspectorate Board (NIB) of the Ghana Education Service (GES) has identified teacher absenteeism as a threat to the educational system of the country.

This was contained in the final report of the NIB on the state of schools in the country from 2013 to the beginning of the 2014/2015 academic year, which was disclosed at a dissemination meeting at Koforidua.

The report was based on a study conducted in 1,465 schools in 165 districts across the 10 regions of Ghana.

Dr Augustine Tawiah, the Acting Chief Inspector of Schools, said it was revealed that most teachers participated in workshop activities on school days, leaving the classrooms empty.

He said the inability of the head teachers to sanction or discipline habitual absentees or lateness to school, also contributed to the poor teaching and learning in schools.

Dr Tawiah said some of the reasons why teachers absent themselves were that of ill-health, long maternity leave by some of the teachers and enrolling on sandwich programmes of the universities to upgrade themselves.

He said the NIB, as part of its recommendations, urged the GES to review the conditions and modalities for granting permission to embark on distance education programmes.

He said there is the need to strengthen school supervision by head teachers and circuit supervisors, adding that, competent head teachers should be appointed by the GES, trained and empowered to exercise greater control and authority over their schools.

He said teacher development should be seen as a continuous process involving regular short courses, seminars and work for both teachers and head teachers to sharpen their pedagogical skills and management respectively.

Mr Antwi-Boasiako Sekyere, the Eastern Regional Minister, called on stakeholders in education to put all hands on deck and contribute towards a common goal, adding that, education needs the continuous support and co-operation from the government.

He said the government is still committed to providing equal and easy access to quality basic education, saying there are still some challenges, but the government would not relent in its efforts.

Mr Eric Christian Attakora, the Birim North District Education Director said, the report has pointed the lapses in the system, and that, all would be dealt with, so that every child would have quality education.

Mrs Margaret Frempong-Kore, the Ga South District Education Director, said if accommodation is provided for teachers, especially in the rural areas, teacher absenteeism can be curtailed.