Don’t Pay Lazy Teachers – Mahama

President John Mahama cutting the sod. INSET: The propose SHS building

President John Mahama cutting the sod. INSET: The propose SHS building



President John Mahama cutting the sod. INSET: The propose SHS building

President John Mahama yesterday declared a zero tolerance for absenteeism by teachers, asking that lazy teachers be denied salaries.

He was speaking during the sod-cutting ceremony at Nyanoa, in the Upper West Akyem District of the Eastern Region, for the construction of the first phase of the 50 countrywide community day senior high schools.

No teacher, he said, should collect salaries when they do not teach the children, pointing out that ‘the teaching profession is one of the noblest undertakings for anyone in the world. My father was a teacher. I have done some teaching in my earlier years. In fact, the great roles played by teachers in our lives cannot be overstated.’

He said, ‘I am therefore calling urgently on the 27 percent of teachers – yes, more than a quarter of the number of teachers in Ghana – who absent themselves from work, and continue to bring the teaching profession into disrepute, to change their ways.’

He pleaded with the National Inspectorate Board and the Inspectorate Division of the GES to intensify their supervision so that absenteeism could be cut down.

On the source of funding of his ambitious SHS project, Mahama presented another picture when he said he would be responsible for raising the GH¢71 million needed for the project and not the Education Minister.

He was uncharitable with those who criticized the Education Minister, Prof. Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang, for saying earlier that she did not know the source of the funding.

President Mahama said it was not the duty of the Education Minister to determine the source of funding for the project.

The Education Minister had said on TV3 that she was not sure where funding for the free SHS would come from, though government would go ahead with the implementation of the decision.

‘When you decide something is important enough, then you have to find the money for it,’ she told TV3, adding, ‘I am not sure in practical ways how that funding is going to be raised. But first you need to sell the idea, then you cost it and then you move on to find the money.’

Mr. Mahama, however, said “The Minister for Education was given a job to produce a road map for the progressive introduction of free senior high school and cost it. She has done so. It is my responsibility as President to find the money, and in 2015 when we present a budget to Parliament; there will be an allocation for the commencement of the free SHS.”

Continuing, he said, ”The Finance Minister, Seth Terkper, will provide a detailed plan regarding funding the free SHS policy when he presents the 2015 budget statement to Parliament.’

The first batch of students to be admitted into the school, which he hoped would be completed by August next year, would not pay any fees.

Blows
Yesterday’s sod-cutting ceremony was preceded by agitations earlier by some youth who did not want the project sited at Nyanoa.

The project should have been put up at Mepom, near Adeiso, but was allegedly diverted to Nyanoa by the District Chief Executive (DCE), Derrick Bekoe, and some assembly members, DAILY GUIDE has gathered.

But for the timely intervention of the chief of Mepom, Nana Agyei Kumi II and his elders, a showdown would have taken the shine off yesterday’s event.

Free SHS Not Possible
Elder statesman, KB Asante, has said that Ghana’s hope of having free SHS could pass as a hoax, if issues relating to quality of education were not addressed.

His comments came hours before Mr. Mahama performed a sod-cutting ceremony in the Eastern Region to mark the beginning of the construction of 50 new community day senior high schools.

“I am a socialist and I believe that eventually…every citizen should have an innate right to be educated to the best of his ability. But I am also a realist …we cannot afford free education at all levels,” the retired diplomat stated on Joy FM, Monday.

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 From Daniel Bampoe, Nyanoa
 
 
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But for the timely intervention of the chief of Mepom, Nana Agyei Kumi II and his elders, a showdown would have taken the shine off yesterday’s event.

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