An educationist and Professor of Economics and Leadership at the Ashesi University, Prof. Stephen Adei, has called on the government to lay off trained teachers in the various public schools who are not giving their best.
He said such a radical move would ensure that newly employed teachers would not take their jobs for granted and ultimately arrest the falling standards of education.
He said there was the need for the government to employ an entirely different crop of professional teachers with different orientations who were eager to deal with the current educational challenges at the basic level.
“I believe that if the government is able to take this difficult and radical decision, it will go a long way to better the lot of Ghanaian children at the basic level,” he said at the investiture of the fifth governing council of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) Ghana in Accra last Saturday.
The theme for the investiture was “the role and importance of professional education in national development,’’and it brought together practitioners and stakeholders in the sector to deliberate on how they can contribute to making Ghana’s logistics and transport sector better.
It also offered members and non-members the opportunity to wine and dine together.
Prof. Adei, who is also a former Rector of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), indicated that after that was done, the government must put in place strict supervision and accountability measures to ensure that they delivered on their tasks.
He noted that research had shown that teachers in public basic schools were simply not teaching; contact hours were less than 40 per cent of what was expected; and the quality of education, even in terms of arithmetic, reading and writing, was at their lowest.
“If teachers are answerable and held accountable for the failure of students at the basic level, and also know that they will be dismissed if they fail to live up to expectation, they will put in their maximum,” he emphasised.
For instance, he said he did not understand why public school teachers were paid better than private school teachers but failed to deliver.
“This is happening at a time when public sector teachers in basic schools earn far more than the average private school staff and have more trained teachers with most of them having better classrooms,” he said.
The failure of teachers to teach well, he observed, had contributed to falling standards in education, saying that currently, Ghana had a basic educational system that specialised in producing functionally illiterate learners.
“The fact that 20 per cent of public basic schools and private schools produce more than enough to fill all senior high schools (SHSs) meant that the majority of public schools totally fail in educating children,” he said.
He further stated that the tonic of tertiary education was quality basic and secondary education but Ghana was missing that.
The leadership and management expert also opined that professional education was paramount to the development of the nation, but that could only happen if the problems at the basic and secondary levels were addressed promptly and proactively.
He said every profession ought to have a certain body of knowledge, appropriate skills and ethical and behavioural dimensions to deliver the best that any country needed.
“It is, therefore, important for professionals to exert their authority to enhance the development of the nation,” he added.
The President of CILT Ghana, Mr Ebo Hammond, lauded former President John Dramani Mahama for converting a lot of the polytechnics in the country into technical universities (TechVas).
He said the TechVas system offered the advantage of combining academic education with professional touch where students are equipped with the relevant knowledge and skills in the industry before completion of their courses and programmes.
“We hope it will prevent the trend where graduates of polytechnics all move in droves to acquire top-up academic degrees for acceptance in the industry,” he said.