Regional News of 2014-05-26

Ten schools restart academic exercise after months of inactivity

Academic exercise has re-started in 10 basic schools that had remained technically closed down for months because of lack of teachers, in the Mamprugu-Moaduri District of the Northern Region.

This followed the engagement of few community volunteer teachers as part of a stop-gap measure, as the Mamprugu-Moaduri District Directorate of Education awaits the deployment of trained teachers to the district.

Mr. Mohammed Abu Baba, Mamprugu-Moaduri District Director of Education announced this at a stakeholders forum in Tamale, organized by the Net Organization for Youth Empowerment and Development (NOYED-Ghana), to discuss the significance of the contributions of community volunteer teachers in promoting quality education in West Mamprusi, Talensi-Nabdam and Jirapa Districts.

It formed part of a programme dubbed Tackling Education Needs Inclusively (TENI) being implemented by NOYED-Ghana, with support from Voluntary Service Organization, to lead the promotion of local volunteering for quality education delivery in the three districts.

Mr. Abu Baba said the Mamprugu-Moaduri District had 27 kindergartens, 33 primary schools and 13 junior high schools while the total number of teachers at post was 152, leaving a shortfall of 226.

He said a number of the teachers currently at post had also put in applications for study leave, threatening the already precarious situation, adding “A lot more teachers posted to the district have refused to come".

He explained why teachers refused to serve in the district saying “The district lacks basic amenities including electricity".

He was hopeful that the on-going teacher redeployment exercise being undertaken by the Ghana Education Service would lead to the posting of more qualified teachers to the district to help improve the pupil-teacher ratio and standard of education in the district.

Mr. Saani Nurudeen, Upper West Regional Director of the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA), who presented a report on the topic: Reducing Teacher Shortages in Rural Ghana Using Community Education Teaching Assistants (CETA) module of GYEEDA, said a lot of schools in the region lacked trained teachers while others did not have teachers at post.

Mr. Nurudeen suggested solar lamps and improvement in road infrastructure and other amenities to encourage teachers to accept postings to deprived communities.

Dr. Sagre Bambangi, Member of Parliament for Walewale, called for special packages and preferential treatment for teachers who accept postings to deprived communities to entice others to such communities.

Mr. Alhassan Abdulai Iddi, Executive Director of NOYED-Ghana, said the organization had placed 27 community volunteer teachers at Jirapa, West Mamprusi and Talensi Nabdam Districts, and is supporting them with in-service training, logistics and monthly stipends to motivate them to help improve education in those districts.

Reports showed that there was excess teacher supply in the country, but deprived communities lacked adequate number of teachers because most teachers preferred to remain in urban centers, making those schools have more than a required number of teachers.

NOYED-Ghana is a youth organization that seeks to improve the quality of life of youth and the vulnerable in society for sustainable development.