‘Effective supervision can reduce teacher absenteeism’

A Deputy Minister of Education, Mr Alex Kyeremeh, has underscored the need for effective supervision by circuit supervisors to help reduce teacher absenteeism in the country.

He said a performance evaluation conducted by the ministry showed that the average national teacher absenteeism reduced significantly from 19 per cent in the 2013/2014 academic year to 14 per cent during the first term of the 2014/2015 academic year due to effective supervision.

The deputy minister said this in a speech read on his behalf at a forum organised by the National Inspectorate Board (NIB) for directors of education and municipal and district chief executives at Tarkwa in the Western Region.

Mr Kyeremeh said the performance evaluation report was based on data collected during unannounced inspections conducted by the board in 1,465 public basic schools, comprising 799 primary and 666 junior high schools, sampled from 163 districts countrywide.

He said the schools were selected by simple random sampling technique through the use of the table of random numbers.

He said some of the specific indicators used in the performance evaluation included teacher absenteeism, teacher preparedness, availability and use of core textbooks, the effectiveness of Ghana Education Service (GES) circuit supervisors and community participation in the schools.

On teacher preparedness, Mr Kyeremeh said for the purpose of the report, it was measured by whether or not the teachers prepared schemes of work and lesson notes under the supervision of headteachers.

He said during the 2013/2014 academic year, it was observed that 69 per cent of teachers in the Ashanti Region prepared lesson notes, while only 42 per cent of teachers in the Northern Region did so.

He said the huge percentage of teachers who did not prepare lesson notes in the Upper East, Upper West and Northern regions was due to the large number of “volunteer” and/or untrained teachers in those regions.

He said nationwide, only 55.7 per cent of the teachers in the selected schools prepared an expanded scheme of lesson notes on the day the panel visited during the 2013/2014 academic year, as against 55.8 per cent for the 2014/2015.

On the availability and use of textbooks on the core subjects of English Language, Mathematics and Science, calculated pupil-textbook ratio stood at five pupils per four textbooks, with the optimal ratio of one textbook to one pupil yet to be achieved.

He said the major conclusion that could be drawn from the performance evaluation exercise was that the systems and procedures for quality learning had been well articulated.

“What appears to be missing is an adequate number of trained, competent and motivated system of drivers and managers which include teachers, school heads, circuit supervisors, district directors of education and adequate resources,” Mr Kyeremeh said.

The acting Chief Inspector of Schools, Dr Augustine Tawiah, said children must have access to education and should not walk for three kilometres to attend school.

He called for a closer working relationship among regional, municipal and district education directors to enable the country to achieve its educational targets.

Mrs Veronica Ama Jackson, the Tarkwa/Nsueam Municipal Education Director, commended the board for working hard to improve the standard of education in Ghana.

The National Inspectorate Board is an agency of the Ministry of Education, established under the 2008 Education Act (Act 778).

It is mandated to provide, on a periodic basis, an external evaluation of the performance of basic and second-cycle institutions in the country.

Source : Graphic Online