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18.03.2009 Education

Education directors express concern over teachers’ number


- Metropolitan, Municipal and District directors of education in the Central Region on Wednesday expressed worry that instead of staying in the classrooms many teachers abandoned their jobs in pursuit of further studies.

For instance in the Cape Coast Metropolis, Saint Lawrence Primaries 'A' and 'B' and Bakatsir Primary and Junior High schools (JHS) have 22 teachers each and Saint Nicholas Primary and JHS, 19 teachers undertaking sandwich programmes at the University of Cape Coast (UCC).

These came out when the Central Regional Minister, Mrs Ama Benyiwa Doe, met the directors to discuss issues concerning education in the region.

The directors said most of the teachers were not interested in the job and were pursuing courses at the expense of their pupils' education.

They described the scheduling of the sandwich programme from June to September as “unfavourable” since teachers undertaking such courses stayed away for three months.

On the impact of such courses on their performances, the directors said although the region has a lot of graduate teachers at the basic level with some of them undertaking Master of Philosophy programmes, education standards keep falling.

They were of the view that the teachers were just interested in upgrading themselves and not for the benefit of their pupils.

They said many teachers also leave the classroom and engage on national assignments like the National Identification Programme and general elections and expressed worry that the situation would be the same when the national population census takes off.

Touching on the attitudes of pupils and students themselves, the directors said most of them were also not interested in schooling and preferred selling on market days, watching videos, attending funerals and night clubs to attending school.

The directors said they were doing their best to help address the issue in collaboration with the district assemblies, the PTAs and school management committees.

Mr Simeon Larbi, Cape Coast Metro Director of Education, said she was unhappy about the very low marks at the basic level examinations and suggested that the Regional Directorate should meet UCC authorities to re-schedule their programmes.

The Effutu/Awutu Senya Director, Mr Kwadwo Afful, also expressed concern that parents in the area were forcing their girls into early marriage at the expense of their education, while others stayed out late and appealed to the assemblies to implement bye-laws to stem the practice.

Mrs Jane Chinebuah, the Agona District Director, was of the view that many of the parents in the area do not value education since they call their children from the classroom to assist them on the farm and that six schools in the district scored zero percent in the last BECE.

Mrs Vivian Etroo, Mfantseman Municipal Director, appealed to teachers to stay focused and committed to their work to help stem the high level of illiteracy in the districts.

Mrs Benyiwa Doe said in as much as teachers want to upgrade themselves, it must not be to the detriment of pupils and students and promised that the issue would be discussed thoroughly and an amicable solution found.