The Ministry of Education has commissioned a committee to design modalities for addressing the issue of teacher absenteeism, as part of efforts to effectively implement the policy of Zero Tolerance for Teacher Absenteeism and to increase teachers’ time spent in the classroom.
The inter-sectorial/agency committee is mandated to deliberate and submit proposals to address the issues of teacher absenteeism and limited contact hours/time on task.
At the commissioning, the Minister of Education, Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, noted that the teacher played a critical role in education, and pointed out that an earlier report that indicated a-27-per cent teacher absenteeism rate was unacceptable.
She said it came as a bit of a relief when the National Inspectorate Board (NIB) later put the rate at 20 per cent, and pointed out that nonetheless, the 20 per cent was not the best and so could not be tolerated.
The minister said the exercise to check teacher absenteeism should not be misconstrued as witch-hunt.
She said although some of the teachers in the private schools were not professionally trained, they achieved high standards due to the quality of supervision in those schools, and maintained that the essence of using state resources to produce teachers from the 38 public Colleges of Education must be justified through high performance.
She called on all stakeholders in the education sector, including the Ministry of Finance and the Controller and Accountant’s General Department, to lend a hand in finding solutions to the issue so as to drastically reduce the high rate of absenteeism and also increase teachers’ time spent on task.
The Deputy Minister, pre-tertiary, Mr Alex Kyeremeh, said the ministry was particularly worried about the statistics from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and World Bank that painted a gloomy picture of teacher absenteeism in the country and charged the committee to do a good job to address the situation.
He said the ministry was obliged to tackle the menace and entreated all members of the committee to turn up for meetings and contribute effectively so as to produce quality proposals to stop the menace.
Among others, the committee was tasked to present an overview of the current status/levels of absenteeism in the schools, identify factors that contributed to teacher absenteeism and propose mitigating measures.
The Chairman of the committee, who is also the Deputy Chief Inspector of Schools at the National Inspectorate Board (NIB), Dr Augustine Tawiah, assured the minister of the committee’s preparedness to work assiduously to achieve good results.
Source: Daily Graphic