The Archbishop Emeritus of the Kumasi Archdiocese of the Catholic Church, Most Rev. Peter Kwasi Sarpong, has questioned the Ministry of Education’s decision to employ only PhD holders as lecturers for the country’s universities.
He asked the government to rethink the decision as he said it would deprive the institutions of experienced lecturers needed to train the human resource required for the development of the country.
According to him, academic qualification was not an index of scholarship “nor is it an indication of the ability to impart knowledge.”
Reacting to the ministry’s decision, Most Rev. Sarpong said, “on the face of it, a PhD degree indicates knowledge and experience in at least research and that the person with a PhD is able and capable of teaching in the university.”
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However, he contended that, that had not always been the case as “there are dozens of PhD holders who are awful teachers.”
Besides that, he said there were a few lecturers currently in the country who possessed PhD degrees, adding that there were so many examples both in Ghana and outside, of great lecturers who nurtured and trained the best brains the world had ever had but did not hold PhD degrees themselves.
While not disputing the usefulness of the PhD degrees, he cautioned that, “their importance should not be allowed to eclipse the irreplaceability of efficiency, performance, pedagogical excellence and devotion to duty.”
On the retiring age of teachers, the retired archbishop conceded that there was the need to allow the old and aged teachers to go to pave the way for young teachers to be promoted within the Ghana Education Service (GES).
“If at the retiring age teachers are still allowed to teach, they will inevitably block the chances of their younger colleagues being promoted,” he said.
That notwithstanding, he said, “I want to express the opinion that it is a fact that expertise grows with experience.
Ghana is full of examples of how retired teachers, or for that matter, public servants have been employed to keep the quality or whatever area of service they are operating in.”
Most Rev. Sarpong noted that most private schools were doing well academically from the point of view of performance and said most of the teachers of those private institutions were former teachers who had to retire at the prime of their pedagogical achievements.
“If in a particular case, retaining a good teacher means depriving an equally good colleague of his chances of promotion, why don’t we pay the aspiring person the salary due to his performance?
“For me, it does no good to Ghana, the GES and the public service, to relieve a worker of his contribution just because of age,” he opined.
Most Rev. Sarpong suggested that efficient retiring workers be allowed to continue their patriotic service to the advantage of the nation instead of letting them waste their expertise.