A survey conducted by the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports in some schools has revealed 1,453 excess teachers in the system. The survey covered a sample of 25,781 teachers.
The survey also indicated a shortage of teachers in some schools and stated that more work needed to be done to determine the actual teacher needs of all basic schools in and track actual vacancies and excesses, especially at the primary school level.
The sector Minister, Papa Owusu-Ankomah, made this known in Accra yesterday at the National Education Sector Annual Review (NESAR) organised by the ministry in collaboration with stakeholders.
It was to provide a platform for all to participate in the review of the educational sector performance and asses progress towards the achievement of sector goals and objectives, including the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Papa Owusu-Ankomah stated that the ministry was poised to deal with the challenge of teacher management and deployment facing the country.
He said to that end, a software on teacher demand and supply had been developed to help manage issues in order to ensure the proper and effective deployment of teachers.
He indicated that the new development followed two studies conducted to determine the underlying and consequent factors which related to vacancies and overstaffing which indicated the need for a revision of the norms of the Ghana Education Service (GES) on teacher distribution and the enforcement of new norms.
On the issue of salaries of teachers, he said the government was working with the Fair Wages Commission (FWC) and others to ensure that workers were paid living wages and promised that the government would come up with the best approach to dealing with matters relating to salaries, wages and conditions.
“We are confident that the outcome of the reform process will provide the solution to the perennial problem of agitation for better conditions of service and also provide enough motivation for teachers to give their best,” he stated.
The minister indicated that there had been progress in creating a literate populace through the Education for All programme and non-formal education.
“Currently, more learners are being recruited, which has contributed to increase the literacy rate from 53.4 per cent in 2003/4 to the current rate of 61.7 per cent,” he said.
A Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Dr Anthony Akoto Osei, who chaired the function, said the reforms would restructure the content of education and improve management to provide technical, vocational and agricultural education and training, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and link education to the world of work.
Dr Akoto Osei called on donors and partners to assist in bringing up a generation of well skilled people who would compete favourably with the outside world.
Story by Hilda Owusu