GES to sanction teachers, directors for absenteeism

BY: Samuel K. Obour

Two district directors of education, some staff of district offices as well as 16 teachers of basic schools in the Greater Accra, Eastern and Volta regions are to be sanctioned by the Ghana Education Service (GES).

A release from the GES indicated that the District Directors of Education, Ms Freda Kossi of the Dangbe West District, and Ms Theresa Adarkwa of the Yilo Krobo District were not in the office when the Minister of Education, Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, accompanied by Mr Enoch Cobbinah, Chief Director, and Ms Benedicta Naana Biney, Director-General of the GES, paid unannounced visits to the district offices of the GES  on June 14, 2013.

When the minister and her entourage arrived at the Dangbe West District Office of the GES at Dodowa at 8.30 a.m, the only workers at post were the security man, a cleaner and a field driver.  Not a single official of the Dangbe District Directorate of the GES was at post.

At the Yilo Krobo District office of the GES in Somanya, the District Director of Education, Ms Theresa Adarkwa, and many of her staff were not at post as of 9.00 a.m. The Director of Education, however, came to the office much later offering an unconvincing excuse.  The district director and her staff are to be sanctioned.

Nine teachers of Ayikuma R.C. Basic School namely, Mrs Elizabeth Ampofo, headteacher, Elizabeth Dikuna, Esther Azumah, Joyce Lamptey, Yvonne Gemedi Fiagbadu, Bernice Aryeh, Diana Adorty, Charity Nyamedi and Gloria Kwasikuma are also to be sanctioned for not being in school at the time of the unannounced visit.

Also to be sanctioned are Ms Delade M. Buadu, headteacher, Audrey Seth Segbuagbe Noah and Agbedudzi Mark, all of Anyirawase Methodist Primary School.  Others are Hobenu Joan, Deladi Awude and Anyomi Rejoice, all of Sokode Bagble E.P. Primary School for being absent from school without permission.

During the visit of the minister and her entourage to Ayikuma R.C Basic School, only six out of 15 teachers were present.  It also came to light that the headteacher was attending a funeral without obtaining permission from her superiors.  The whereabouts of the other teachers had not been recorded in the log book of the school.  In the absence of some of the teachers, the children, who were supposed to be in their classrooms, were found playing or simply loitering, about on the compound.

At the Anyirawase Methodist Primary School, four teachers, including the headteacher, were absent from duty.  As a result, the children who were supposed to be in the classroom were without a teacher.  A child in school uniform was found with a container of bread on his head hawking them in the school with some teachers, who were chatting under a tree, looking on.

At Sokode Bagble E. P Primary School, although break period was supposed to have been over, neither teachers nor pupils were back in the classrooms. There was a general stampede as the vehicles trooped onto the school compound. The story was not different from what was observed at Anyirawase E.P. Methodist Primary School.

Commenting on these incidents, Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang raised the issue of a breakdown in the supervision of schools and tasked the Director-General of the GES, Ms. Benedicta Naana Biney, who was part of the minister’s entourage, to take immediate action to restore the structure to its purpose.

The schools that had prior knowledge of the visit,  Awudome SHS, OLA SHS, Mawuko Girls’ SHS, had all teachers present, the children seated at the assembly halls singing hymns and waiting for the delegation.

At a meeting with members of Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS), PRINCOFF, Regional and District Directors of Education, the Minister re-iterated her call to all unions in the educational sector, parents, the assemblies, community and opinion leaders to partner with the ministry in its efforts to raise the quality of education, especially at the public basic schools.

She expressed her unhappiness with what she had seen at the basic schools and her resolve to work with anyone who would partner with her ministry to raise the quality of teaching and learning in Ghana.