It has been revealed that poor school-based supervision by some head teachers, leading to loss of contact hours and low output of work on the part of some teachers, inability of parents to guide their wards and provide their needs such as writing materials and sanitary needs of their girls is a contributing factor to the low standard of education today.
These came to light at the 2nd Central Regional Education Sector Annual Review meeting in Cape Coast recently. According to a report delivered at the review, owing to the delay in the release of the Capitation Grant, there was a lack of funds in the schools that made it difficult for most of the Head teachers to implement the School Performance Improvement Plan, especially in the conduct of end of term examination.
Addressing the gathering, the Regional Director of Education Rosemond Blay, disclosed that the National Review last year established that, the Central Region ranked first in the country in enrolment rates and comes second only after Greater Accra in the provision of quality education. One of the findings in the Review, she said, is that the 2008 Net Enrolment Rate was 97.7%, an improvement over that of 2007.
It was also revealed in the report that heads in Upper Denkyira district do not show transparency to the SMCs (School Management Committee) and even their own members of staff on how the Capitation Grant is spent. Also identified as problems was lateness to school by teachers as well as pupils.
Attendance to functions like funerals and wake keepings by students, teachers who commute to school as a result of unavailability of accommodation in some communities which result in lateness or absenteeism has also contributed to poor performance in education in the Central Region, according to the report.
The rest of the problems are national assignments such as Voter Registration exercises, which keep some teachers away from the classroom, ineffective supervision by circuit supervisors, some parents shirking their responsibilities in the supervision of their wards by ensuring that they study after school. It was also identified that majority of kindergarten classes do not have permanent classrooms.
According to the Regional Director of Education, the Capitation Grant has made great impact on Enrolment in the Public Basic Schools, reduced streetism and cushioned parents from the burden of paying school levies. It has also saved Head teachers and Teachers the trouble of collecting fees from pupils and its attendant implications.
On training of Teachers in technical education, she said, in 2007/2008, out of the total population of 2,626 trainee teachers in the 3 colleges of education in the region, only 7% (172) were trained in technical education.
For this reason she called on the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports to help make technical education attractive to trainee teachers to help beef up the number to enhance quality technical education.
More than 200 heads of schools, District Directors of Education and heads of the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies and some Assembly members from the region took part in the annual education review exercise.
By Raymond Kwofie