Regional News of 2013-12-29

Institutions must not interfere in teachers' work - Educationist

A retired educationist in the Upper West Region has appealed to the Electoral Commission and the Ghana Statistical Service to stop engaging the services of teachers during elections and census.

Mr. Johnson Sabor, a former Headmaster of the Kanton Senior High School, said teachers had always been used to carry out census and electoral registration exercises on behalf of the two institutions to the detriment of their work in the classroom.

Mr. Sabor was enumerating causes leading to the falling standards in basic education in the Sissala East District at an Annual General Meeting of the Sissala Union in Tumu on Friday.

He said it was worrying that anytime there was an upcoming census and opening of electoral registration exercises, the two institutions looked nowhere to find workers but engaged teachers to do their work for them; forgetting that the teachers had work to do in the classroom.

The practice, Mr Sabor said, had a terrible impact on education and the ability of the Ghana Education Service to perform.

He said: “at the end of the census and the electoral processes, the Electoral Commission (EC) and the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) were congratulated for the good work done, but when standards of education began to fall, everybody, including the two institutions, blamed teachers for the poor performance.”

“What is more of a national assignment than the teachers work? Teachers who leave their classrooms for weeks receive salaries for no work done in addition to wages from these institutions,” he said.

On the tussle over the three or four-year senior high school duration, Mr. Sabor said it stemmed from the diverse inappropriate use of the services of the teacher and pupil and teacher interactions which had not been acknowledged.

Mr. Sabor expressed worries about the interferences of some politicians in the work of school authorities and urged those engaged in the practice to stop.

He bemoaned the poor supervisory role of circuit officers in schools, and speaking of Pigeon English which some students ended up writing during examinations.

He called on parents and teachers to encourage pupils to read and engage in inter-school debates and drama to help improve on their use of the English Language.