General News of 2014-03-04

Mahama declares zero-tolerance to teacher-absenteeism

President John Dramani Mahama has made known government’s intention to reduce teacher absenteeism in the country.

He said government wants to reduce to zero the current 27 per cent of the canker in the educational system.

He has, therefore, charged the inspectorate divisions of the Ghana Education Service (GES) and the Ministry of Education to ensure that teachers turned up for work in Ghana’s schools.

President Mahama made these observations on Monday, March 3, when he cut sod for the construction of the first of 50 community day senior high schools.

The ceremony took place in Nyanoa in the Upper West Akyem District of the Eastern Region.

The president noted that no teacher in a clear conscience will be at ease absenting class.

“My father was a teacher, and I have done some teaching myself in my early years,” President Mahama cited.

He reiterated his government’s determination to “ensure that no child is left behind”.

President Mahama pointed out that, that is the reason why “detailed work” went into the design of the community day secondary schools.

The four-block schools will have a four-storey center building which will be referred to as “E-Block”.

According to him, the ‘E’ stands for 'Excellence' because “we are trying to achieve excellence in education”.

That block will also provide electronic educational services to give focus to computer literacy and electronic media.

The schools will have 24 classrooms and according to the president that will meet population growth demands.

“Each school will have four well-equipped laboratories,” the president indicated.

There will also be two libraries and eight offices for departmental heads, “where [the teachers] can sit and mark their scripts and prepare lesson notes.”

“Each school will have an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) hardware laboratory to sit 45 students at a time.”

President Mahama noted that the schools will be built by Ghanaian construction firms.

“We have asked the consultants to ensure that as much as possible all construction materials are made in Ghana,” he said.

Present at the function were Chief of Staff Prosper Bani, Minister of Education Professor Jane Opoku Agyemang and other government functionaries as well as chiefs and people of Nyanoa.

The president promised that the project will be commissioned in August 2015.