More than 400 National Volunteer Teachers are offering their services to junior and senior secondary schools in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions under the National Service Scheme.
The programme, which aims at promoting national volunteerism in Ghana, was initiated on a pilot basis by the Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO), an international non-governmental organisation that is promoting education, secure livelihoods and providing support to people with disabilities nation-wide.
Mr Amidu Ibrahim-Tanko, Country Director of VSO, told the Ghana News Agency in Accra on Friday that the organisation had assisted to sharpen the phonic skills of over 600 primary school teachers in eight districts in the Upper East and Upper West regions to help improve on the teaching of literacy and provided in-service training for science teachers in junior secondary schools. He said through this initiative pupils in the Builsa District of the Upper East Region could pronounce alphabets and read two or three letter words as opposed to the previous situation, when they were pronouncing words after their teachers.
Mr Ibrahim-Tanko said in Bongo for instance the performance in Basic Education Certificate Examination continued to improve while the Bongo Senior Secondary School raised the pass mark for integrated science from 19 per cent in 2004 to 39 per cent in 2005.
He said more teachers were beginning to use teaching and learning materials in the two regions.
VSO is also strengthening the capacity of the Ghana Education Service staff and head teachers to establish and implement a functional support and monitoring system in order to improve standards of education.
The organisation is also encouraging local communities in the development of schools and mainstreaming HIV/AIDS and gender issues among education stakeholders to increase their awareness.
Mr Ibrahim-Tanko said VSO had initiated baseline studies in focus districts as basis for supporting the establishment of management information systems in project areas. Commenting on the disability programme of VSO, he said the organisation was building the capacity of agencies working with people with disabilities and service delivery organizations. Mr Ibrahim-Tanko said his outfit was also promoting livelihood options for grassroots disability organisations and access to quality education for children with disabilities and increasing participation of women with disabilities.
VSO, a development agency devoted to fight global poverty and disadvantage, started to work in Ghana in 1958. To date over 3,000 international volunteers have been posted to serve in the country and working mainly in the programme operational areas of Greater Accra, Volta, Eastern, Central, Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions.