Heads of senior high schools (SHS) in the Central Region have appealed to the Ghana Education Service (GES) to recruit more non-teaching staff to ensure the smooth daily administration of the schools.
They said that was necessary to enable them to cope with the additional workload on various workers on the campuses of the SHSs, following the implementation of the double-track system under the free SHS programme.
The heads made the call on Tuesday, December 4, 2018, when members of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Education visited some schools in the Central Region as part of a three-day working visit to some selected SHSs in the region.
The visit, which was sponsored by Star Ghana Foundation, took members of the committee to the Apam Senior High School, Winneba Secondary School, Swedru Senior High School, University Practice Senior High School, Ghana National College and the Holy Child School, to give them the opportunity to assess the implementation of the double-track system.
The Headmaster of Apam Senior High School, Nana Doku Ewusi X, said with the implementation of the system, workers at the catering department had to work all year round without going on break and that was putting a heavy toll on them.
He said there was the need for the recruitment of additional staff to help them to run the shift systems effectively, adding, “if some teachers are allowed to work according to the track system, then I think the non-teaching staff, especially those in the catering department, must also be allowed to work according to the track system.”
The Headmistress of Swedru Senior High School, Mrs Alberta Obiriwa Rigg-Stewart, called for the recruitment of more security personnel for the school.
She said the school had been forced to recruit some residents of the town to provide security because of the limited security staff and the constant intrusion of thieves and burglars into the school.
The Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Education, Mr Stevens Siaka, said the concerns and needs of the schools would be taken to Parliament for review.
He said the double-track system, which had led to increase in enrolment in the SHSs and improvement in contact hours between students and teachers, also had some challenges such as, limited dormitories, classrooms and dining halls which needed to be addressed.
“After this working visit, we would present a report to Parliament and send a copy to the Minister of Education so that the issues raised can be resolved”, he added.
Mr Siaka, who is also the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Jaman North Constituency, said $1.5 billion had been budgeted to deal with infrastructural deficit and also to pay contractors to complete existing projects in secondary schools across the country.