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02.02.2006 Education

Education Minister answers question on policy on study leave

By GNA

Accra, Feb. 2, GNA - Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Minister of Education and Sports, on Thursday said staff of the Ghana Education Service (GES) granted study leave with pay were bonded and therefore should return to serve for a specified period of time.

"Any staff, who fails to avail himself or herself for posting, are requested to pay the value of the bond, which is five times the total amount spent on the individual," he told Parliament in response to a question on the Ministry's latest policy on study leave with pay for teachers in the country.

He touched on various criteria for qualification for study with pay and said for a member to qualify, the teacher should have served for a minimum of three years "after certification or since returning from the last approved course..."

He said for members, who have vacated their post and have been reinstated, they would only qualify after they have served for five years.

The Minister said: "Subjects to attract study leave with pay vary from year to year, based on the needs analysis conducted by the human resources department and the district and regional directors." "The GES Council determines the number of applicants to be granted study leave with pay in a given year. For the 2005 and the 2006 academic year, the quota is 3,000 teachers."

In response to another question from Mr Dan Abodakpi, NDC-Keta, on when the GES district headquarters building at Keta would be completed, Mr Osafo-Maafo said work was still on going. He said the project, which would be completed next year, was 68 per cent complete.

"Since the inception of the project, government has spent 901,869,219.38 cedis on it. In the 2006 budget, 200 million cedis have been approved to continue work."

In answer to another question on steps being taken to provide science and mathematics teachers to some secondary schools in the Brong Ahafo Region, the Minister said the provision of science and mathematics teachers to secondary schools was a general problem.

"In the year 2004 and 2005, the total number of science and maths teachers produced was 214 and 566 respectively. In this same period, the total number of science and maths teachers requested from the regional education offices was 1,263 and 1,122 respectively."

"This indicates that the system is short of 1,049 science and 556 maths teachers."

Mr Osafo-Maafo said government was working out a programme to increase the number of these teachers at all levels.

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