Pay teachers 15% PRO allowance
The Presidential Committee on Education Reforms in Ghana has recommended a 15 percent allowance of basic salary to be paid to all licensed teachers in the country in recognition of their central role in educating the nation. In addition, teachers of technical, Vocational subjects should be paid an inducement allowance of 10 percent of their wages.
In order to attract high calibre teaching staff to the rural areas, teachers in deprived areas should be paid hardship allowance of 20 percent of their basic salary. “Specialist teachers in science and mathematics should be given five incremental credits at the point of entry,” according to wide-ranging recommendations made by the committee to attract teachers onto the field.
Recognizing the role of teachers as central to education reform process, the Presidential committee said teacher education should be of utmost concern to policy makers, education providers and all stakeholders in education.
“In the last two decades,” observed the committee in its report official report: Meeting the Challenges of Education in the Twenty First Century, “there have been frequent changes in the teacher education landscape as a result of weaknesses in the system.”
The committee found that absence of links between the needs of schools and teacher education has resulted in inadequate teacher preparation, lack of defined standards for teacher development and unattractiveness of the teacher education programme as a result of the length of time required for a senior secondary school graduate to acquire a diploma or a degree.
The committee also found among many negative tendencies militating against quality teaching staff that products of the 38 teacher training institutions “are not producing enough teachers for schools in the country.” There is also an absence of a well-structured continuous professional developing programme as an integral part of teacher training.
It recommended the setting up of a National Teaching Council to act as the co-ordinating and licensing body. “Teacher training colleges should be upgraded into diploma awarding institutions to be called Colleges of Education and affiliated to the teacher training universities.”
The committee asked the Ministry of Education to set up a vibrant and continuing education programme for teachers to enable them improve on their lot. The programme should enable teachers develop the culture of reading as well as the skills to impart to pupils.
“In view of the proposal to mainstream kindergarten education into the education system, the curriculum of teacher training colleges should be redesigned to provide electives for training pre-school teachers and a national Nursery Teacher Training Centre for pre-school attendants to be replicated in all the regions.
The 30-member committee said emphasis at teacher training institutions should be placed on mathematics and science as well as Information Communication Training, Creative Arts and Citizenship education and invited the Ministry of Education to encourage private sector participation in teacher education. The committee established that “poor conditions of service and the low esteem accorded teachers have made it increasingly difficult to attract and retain teachers at all levels of the education system and asked for the general service condition of teachers to be improved through the payment of competitive salaries, provision of decent accommodation and enhanced retirement benefits.” It asked for the creating of job satisfaction condition through the supply and use of modern technology in teaching and learning.
The 30-member committee has Prof Jophus Anamuah-Mensah, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Education, Winneba as Chairman.
According to its official report, the committee examined the challenges of education and how they could respond to national developmental goal of poverty alleviation and wealth creation.
“The committee is of the view that the philosophy underlying the education system in Ghana should be the creation of well-balanced (intellectually, spiritually, emotionally, and physically) individuals with the requisite knowledge, skills, values and aptitudes for self-actualization and for the socio-economic and political transformation of the nation.”