A Deputy Minister of Education, Mr Alex Kyeremeh has disclosed that the Ministry has implemented a system where public school teachers will be paid according to the number of days they show up to teach.
According to him, the move is geared towards reducing the rate of teacher absenteeism in the various schools within the country.
A World Bank and United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) report, indicate that Ghana ranked first in teacher absenteeism in West Africa.
According to the report, teacher malingering is the major contributory factor to the low performance of pupils and students in public basic schools in the country.
Mr. Kyeremeh said the ministry is working closely with the various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in order to make the initiative a success.
‘We will pay them according to the number of days they attend school, so we’ve been able to do that based on the report we’ve received from the regions,’ he indicated
Commenting on the World Bank/UNICEF report, on the Citi Breakfast Show on Monday, Mr Alex Kyeremeh said the Minister of Education, Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang had initiated a programmed dubbed ‘ zero tolerance to teacher absenteeism ‘ which begun last year, to clamp down on such recalcitrant teachers.
He said ‘I know some teachers have been relieved of their positions, some teachers have also forfeited their salaries for the number of days they’ve absented themselves from school.’
Although he insisted that the situation ‘arguably is a global attitude,’ he explained that ‘some [teachers] will not like to go to school because…they have additional jobs to do. If you come to bigger towns, some teachers are traders, some are farmers; they have different business attached to the teaching profession.’
‘Another factor is that if teachers are not coming and they are not sanctioned, it’s a complete disincentive to teachers who are also ready to go to school every day,’ the deputy minister intimated.
Meanwhile, Deputy General Secretary of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) in charge of Education and Professional development, Thomas Baafi, on the same programme said although the report’s content is regrettable the teachers cannot be entirely blamed.
He explained that ‘when we talk about absenteeism nobody deliberately want to absent himself… it’s the situation that warrants that. It’s not the making of the teacher, but it’s not a positive thing. At times schools are placed where there are no even settlements and we send teachers there; where do we expect the teachers to stay?’
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