The Ghana Education Service (GES) is to engage the services of untrained teachers, national service personnel, retired teachers, SSS leavers with good grades and graduate teachers to fill vacancies at the basic education level nationwide for the 2007/2008 academic year.
This is because, although the GES needs 22,988 trained teachers to fill vacancies at the basic education nationwide for the next academic year, only a little over 8,000 teachers are available.
The GES Deputy Director-General, Benedicta Naana Biney, disclosed these on Wednesday, May 16, 2007 at a workshop at Ajumako in the Central Region.
The workshop, was to equitably allocate newly trained post-secondary teachers to the various regions and districts ahead of re-opening of schools to ensure that the trainees get to know their regional postings and if possible their districts before completion of their course next month.
Mrs Biney noted that the total vacancies declared nationwide far exceed the 8,321 teachers graduating this year and said "the shortage shows a serious imbalance below teacher demand and supply trends."
She explained that the GES recruits new entrants every year to fill vacancies created as a result of retirements, deaths, withdrawals and study leave saying, "The vacancies constitute part of the total demand for teachers which over the years, have remained very high in relation to the supply."
Mrs Biney said out of the number of teachers to graduate this year 7,180 trained for general studies, 895 for technical skills and 246 for French.
She said all those who majored in French and Technical Skills, would be posted to teach those subjects in the Junior Secondary Schools (JSS) and would only be assigned to teach other subjects when they were additional to their main subjects and within limits approved for teaching loads.
On the remaining 7,180 teachers, Mrs Biney said they would be posted to teach in either Primary or JSS, depending on the prevailing teacher demand.
She however, cautioned that in the actual allocation of the teachers to the districts for placement in the schools, the staffing norms namely, pupil/teacher ratio, pupil /class ratio and class/teacher ratio approved for the basic level of education would be strictly adhered to.
"It is interesting to note that while the current national pupil-teacher ratio (PTR) target for primary school is 35.1 and for JSS is 22.1 some regions and districts have PTRs lower than the national average because they have more teachers than required," she noted.
Mrs Biney said the main concern of the GES is to achieve and maintain an average PTR by efficiently allocating teachers to schools in accordance with the approved staffing norms.
A total of 8,097 trainee teachers out of the 8,321 were sponsored by various district assemblies and are expected to be posted back to the sponsoring districts to teach for at least three years.
Vacancies declared in schools on regional basis are: Northern -3,189; Western – 2,679; Brong Ahafo – 1,963; Upper West – 1,563; Volta – 1,358; and Eastern – 1,243.
Source: The Ghanaian Times