The Ministry of Education is blaming District Directors of Education in the various Metropolitan, Municipal and Districts Assemblies for the challenges they encounter in the provision of education materials and logistics to schools across the country.

According to the Ministry, lack of information flow from schools that lacked the needed infrastructure and educational materials accounts for the delays in supporting such schools.

“We have identified the fact that in some districts, the DCEs, district directors of education have been regular with information and their management functions, and we commended them. But there are others that the information flow is very slow. We met recently in Kumasi to ensure that the system works.”

The Deputy Minister’s concern follows an intervention by the Vice Presidential Candidate of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr. Mahamoud Bawumia, who ordered 500 desks to be made for the pupils of the Kperisi Primary School in the Upper West Region, who have been learning on bare floors for months.


The school’s plight came to light after the State of the Nation Address last Thursday, where the President had boasted of massive achievements in the educational sector.

The Wa Municipal Assembly in the Upper West Region after the public outcry hurriedly initiated moves to provide  desks for the pupils. But speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show on Monday, a Deputy Minister of Education, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa said “we expect the heads of schools, the district and regional directors of education to bring us up to date with timely reports to that effect because we cannot be everywhere at the same time. There are only three ministers of education; there is only one director general at the Ghana Education Service and two deputies.

We have said that it is important for them to let us have quarterly reports and emergency situations for instance, a flood has happened and the roof of a school has been ripped off. When we wait for the media to come there or politicians to come there before you talk to the media and say that you are helpless, it is instructive to say that you are helpless.”

About 24,000 out-of-school children have been enrolled under the Complementary Basic Education programme (CBE) in the Brong Ahafo and three northern regions for them to benefit from formal education.

 
Meanwhile, the government is working to extend the programme to the remaining regions to bring 120,000 children on board the formal school system in the next three years.

The CBE programme is an initiative of the government to ensure that children who are out of school benefit from formal education. The Vice-President, Mr Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur, who was speaking in Accra yesterday said, “These are clear manifestations of the government’s commitment to make basic education accessible to all children, no matter their age and location.”
 
He was speaking at a ceremony where he presented the President’s Independence Day Award to winners at the Banquet Hall of the State House.

 

Twenty students selected from the 10 regions were awarded scholarships for their excellent performance in the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE).

The scholarship package for each award winner included GH¢700, Nestle products for the next one year and a Samsung tablet. The Vice-President said in line with the government’s commitment to ensure that learners developed competence in the use of modern technology, it had distributed 600,000 laptops to 25,000 basic schools across the country. Furthermore, 10,000 basic school teachers have been trained in the use of computers for teaching.

 

On the government’s programme to establish 200 community schools, Mr Amissah-Arthur said procurement processes had begun for the construction of the second batch of 50 community senior high schools (SHSs). The first 50 schools were awarded on contract last year.

 

The Secondary Education Improvement Project, being funded by the World Bank, will provide an additional 23 new SHSs with a full complement of staff housing, technical blocks and school canteen.

On training for teachers, Mr Amissah-Arthur said that 2,000 teachers would benefit from re-training while 10,400 needy students would be given scholarships, with emphasis on girls.

 

The Vice-President congratulated the students for their excellence and advised them to appreciate the role their parents, teachers and friends played in nurturing them. He further advised them to shun drugs, occultism and other vices.

 

The Minister of Education, Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agymang, said about 400 students had benefited from the award scheme since it was instituted in 1993.

She remarked that the ministry’s focus was on high performance, especially at the pre-tertiary level and, therefore, efforts were being made to provide textbooks and school uniforms to students to enhance their academic studies.

 

She added that more Mathematics and Science teachers were being trained to help improve on Science and Mathematics education. 

 

The Business Executive Manager of Nestle in charge of West and Central Africa, Mr Daniel Yapoli, sponsors of the award, said the company had committed itself to the development of education and sports in Ghana.

As a manifestation of that commitment, he said Nestle had invested in the construction of schools and ICT centres in some cocoa farming communities to support education delivery.

Head teacher of Lingbunga Primary school in the Tolon District of the Northern Region has been demoted for persistent absenteeism from school.

He is now serving as a teacher in the same school whilst facing the Tolon GES Disciplinary Committee.

Public Relations Officer of Tolon District Education directorate, Godfred Donna told Citi News the demoted head teacher might be summarily dismissed if the Disciplinary Committee investigations prove his incompetence.

According to him, some teachers in the Tolon District have already been punished in various ways for perpetual absenteeism and lateness to school.

 

He said the Tolon District Ghana Education directorate has intensified its monitoring and supervision in schools to flush out disobedient teachers.

For this reason, all heads and teaching staff of schools in the Tolon District are compelled to on daily basis log in and log out their duty hours.

This system, according to Godfred Donna is meant to reverse the falling standard of education in the area.

He said all the major stakeholders especially head teachers and circuit supervisors have a stake in ending the poor performance of pupils in the area.

By: Abdul Karim Naatogmah

 

Tolon disaster- 12 school buildings destroyed

A total of 12 primary schools in the Tolon District of the Northern Region have been ripped off by severe rainstorms.

One of such schools is Woribogu Ahmadiya Primary School where all upper primary pupils there have resumed studies under trees.

With the continuous rains, the distressed pupils will be absent in school depending on the weather.

Undoubtedly, this will worsen the falling standard of education which education authorities there are already grappling with.

Head teacher of Woribogu Ahmadiya Primary School, Christiana Alandong decried the situation and said her administration was compelled to camp the lower pupils under trees as means of creating space to accommodate the displaced upper primary pupils.

She called for the immediate aid of government and Non Governmental Organizations.

Tolon District Director of Education, Amoli Abaako advised the head teacher to rather maintain the lower primary pupils in their classrooms and keep the upper primary pupils under the trees.

He was however quick to assure the school authorities of the assembly’s preparedness to re-roof the school building.

Touched by the plight of the pupils, Northern Ghana Manager of Bayport Financial Services, William Majeed Mahama promised that management of the institution will assist in re-roofing the building.

Despite the prevailing circumstance, he encouraged the pupils to aspire to become responsible citizens.

Each pupil at the upper primary level received two branded Bayport Financial Services exercise books whilst those newly admitted pupils into the lower primary enjoyed some drinks.