Reward Teachers For Accepting Postings To Rural Areas
4/14/2012 4:46:14 PM -
The government has been urged to introduce a special incentive service allowance for teachers who accept postings to deprived communities across the country.
Incentives such as a top-up of salaries and offering fee-free education to the children of teachers—up to senior high school (SHS) level—are expected to attract and retain teachers in schools in remote areas.
“If classrooms have no teachers, academic performance will suffer, especially in rural areas, hence the need to introduce incentives to motivate teachers to give their best,” the Chief Inspector of Schools of the National Inspectorate Board of the Ministry of Education, Mr George Afeti, said.
Speaking at the maiden Speech and Prize-giving day of the Volta River Authority (VRA) Junior High School Number Two-B at Akosombo, Mr Afeti said, “we can only reverse the increasing zero per cent Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) passes if competent and dedicated teachers are encouraged to accept postings to remote areas.”
The event was held on the theme: “The declining academic performance of basic education today—the role of stakeholders.” The occasion was used to honour hardworking students and teachers of the school.
Buttressing his call, Mr Afeti said in the Gambia for example, a special incentive allowance was introduced in 2006 to attract and retain teachers in schools located more than three kilometres from a main road.
He said the allowance represented a top-up of 30 and 40 per cent of the teachers’ basic salary in deprived communities.
“By 2007, 24 per cent of teachers in urban areas had requested transfers, voluntarily, to schools in deprived communities, which significantly improved the academic performance of schools in such areas,” he added.
“We can also adopt the same incentive measures in Ghana if we are serious in tackling the poor performance of our JHS candidates at the BECE level,” he added.
The chief inspector of schools said as the primary stakeholder, the government should continue to play its key role of providing the basic academic and physical infrastructure required for effective teaching and learning at the basic education level.
He admitted that while there had been a significant reduction in the number of schools under trees, there were still classrooms without roofs in many rural communities.
“There are still schools without trained and competent teachers”, he said and called for the training of more teachers and the development of strategies to deploy them to rural schools.
In his view, social interventions by the government such as the Capitation Grant, free school uniforms and the school feeding programme had significantly increased access and enrolment in schools.
“In spite of these increases in the total enrolment of primary school pupils and JHS students, there is no corresponding increase in the number of trained teachers, a situation that calls for urgent measures to be instituted to attract and retain teachers in the classrooms,” he stressed.
The Chief Executive for Asuogyaman, Mr Johnson Ahiakpor, pledged the support of the assembly to assist the school with the needed teaching and learning materials.
Earlier, the Head teacher of the school, Ms Rose Dzandza, mentioned the lack of computers in its ICT laboratory and poorly equipped science laboratory as the two major challenges facing practical teaching and learning.
She, therefore, appealed to the government, the VRA, well-to-do individuals and corporate bodies to help address the challenges to improve academic performance of the students.