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16.06.2004 Education

Chiefs and educationists dialogue on education promotion

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Tamale, June 16, GNA- Chiefs in Northern Ghana have appealed to the Ghana Education Service (GES) to strengthen relationship with them by ensuring that they were adequately informed when teachers were posted to the communities.

They explained that such measures would encourage the chiefs to provide residential accommodation for the teachers and guarantee their safety.

This was contained in a communiqu=E9 issued at the end of an educational conference organised for Paramount and Divisional Chiefs from the three Northern Regions in Tamale on Monday. The Conference discussed the roles educationists and traditional rulers could play to promote education in Northern Ghana.

The Kumbun-Naa, Iddrisu Abu II, Paramount Chief of Kumbungu Traditional Area, Kpembewura Alhaji Ibrahim Haruna, Paramount Chief of Kpembe Traditional Area, Naa Banamini Sandu II, Paramout chief of Kaleo Traditional Area, Kuoru Doctawie Ninia, Paramount Chief of the Zini Traditional Area, Koyoro Pe, Oscar B. Tiyiamu and Nab A Aflulang, both divisional chiefs from the Upper East Region signed the communiqu=E9. Traditional Rulers, Regional Directors of Education, Directors responsible for the Recruitment, Posting and Manpower, Principals of Training Colleges and NGO representatives from the three regions attended the forum to find alternative approach to improve the quality of education in Northern Ghana.

The Northern Network for Education Development (NNED) a local NGO, in partnership with the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regional Houses of Chiefs organised the conference.

The GES has complained that though schools are now community-based, community members including chiefs, have shown no interest in school matters especially in ensuring that teachers are retained in their community schools to enhance quality teaching and learning.

The non-involvement of chiefs in educational issues, the lack of supervision and the posting of teachers to community schools were also discussed.

The Chiefs maintained that in the past, teachers posted to communities were officially handed over to them but now most chiefs did not know the teachers posted to their community schools. Some of the chiefs complained that they were not represented on the District Education Oversight Committees in their districts and urged the Regional Directorate of Education to rectify this situation. They also urged Circuit Supervisors to contact the chiefs in the communities to brief them on activities of the teachers and the enrolment of children.

Mr Chikpah Demuyakor, Northern Regional Director of Education, said 44 per cent of children of school-going age in the Northern Region were not in school and urged the chiefs to assist in the enrolment of more children in schools.

He noted that early marriages, especially among Muslim communities, were on the increase, saying: "This has contributed to the drop-out rate among schoolgirls in the region.

The Regional Director cited conflicts in Northern Ghana as the cause of the falling standards of education in the area and called on chiefs to promote peace in their communities to encourage teachers and other government workers to accept posting to the regions. Mr Eric Duorinaah, Coordinator of NNED said Northern Ghana was still lagging in education and urged stakeholders in the sector to devise alternative ways of addressing the educational challenges.

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