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21.05.2007 General News

Mischief In Darkness — Teachers Want Prompt Action

The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) has bemoaned the rising spate of nocturnal and extra-curricula activities on the compounds of mixed second-cycle institutions as a result of the energy crisis.

It has, therefore, called on the government to find a prompt solution to the energy crisis to halt the degeneration of morals in those institutions.

The National President of the association, who is also the Headmaster of the Nkoranza Secondary Technical School, Mr Joseph Kwaku Adjei, said, “The darkness on school compounds affects security and effective monitoring by school authorities”.

Mr Adjei was speaking at an Editors' Forum at Agona Swedru organised by the association to discuss pertinent issues concerning education and improve the relationship between the leadership of GNAT and the media.

He said the energy crisis was affecting planning for practical lessons, the use of computers and other gadgets.

On the Computerised School Selection and Placement System (CSSPS), the National President of GNAT said even though it took care of the allegations of bribery in admission, which was referred to as the headmaster's cocoa season, the CSSPS discouraged people from contributing to the building and development of schools, since protocol admissions had been abolished.

“What sort of motivation will individuals have to build classrooms and buy school buses knowing they would not be able to get admission for even one person?” he asked.

The First National Trustee of GNAT, Mr Kwame Appiah, raised concerns about the increase in the duration of senior secondary education from three to four years, as stipulated by the new educational reform, arguing that it was not the number of years students spent in school which was a problem but the budget to support that.

He explained, for instance, that with a fourth class, a school with nine streams would need 18 more teachers and all that went with that.

“Everything is fine on paper, but the question is, where will we house the classes?” he asked.

He said problems would come three years after the implementation of the reform and so there was the need to examine them before proceeding with the four-year senior high school programme.

Mr Appiah said asking every student to do the senior secondary course in four years was also not good.

“If some can do it in three years, why not?” he asked.

Speaking on the GNAT policy on education, Mr John Nyoagbe, the Deputy General Secretary in charge of the Professional Development Department of the association, said no deliberate efforts should be made to reduce government's provision for public education and educational facilities because private educational facilities were available.

He said private education should be encouraged only as a supplement or complement to public education.

Story By Doreen Allotey, Agona Swedru