30.03.2004 Education

Rev. Afo Blay worried about effects of AIDS on education

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Ajumako March 29 GNA- The Director-General of the Ghana Education service, Reverend Ama Afo Blay, on Monday expressed concern about the impact of HIV/AIDS on both school children and staff of the service, in the country. According to her 53 and 47 per cent of school girls and boys respectively, died yearly from the disease, an indication that girls were more often infected than boys, while the annual deaths of teachers also infected by the disease, constituted 19 per cent. Rev. Afo Blay expressed this concern, when she opened a five-day workshop on 'planning and data management' for district and regional planning and statistics officers of the service from the southern sector, at Ajumako.

The workshop, which is being attended by 107 participants is to provide up-to-date information on planning and statistical methodologies and dissemination techniques to enhance the strategic thinking and planning at the regional and district level. According to her, the situation had resulted in rising mortality rate and lower productivity, and that in 1993, the Service recorded 14 per cent of teachers absent in school through deaths, and that the figure had risen to 22 per cent this year.

She therefore, tasked teachers to endeavour to lead high moral lives worthy of emulation and to desist from the practice of defiling children put in their charge. She regretted that the service, was "battling with another phenomenon", which is drunkenness and that the examination of non-performing staff of the service in a district revealed that 42 per cent of them were not performing because they were drunks. She said "the service, needs reliable data and analysis of this nature", to enable it and its social partners to arrest such alarming situations impinging on quality education delivery in the country."

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