A probe by TV3 has revealed that about eighteen schools in the Gonja District of the Northern Region do not have teachers available to teach.
Authorities of the District Education Directorate have thus called for staff rationalization to improve the situation in under-privileged schools.
There is still a fall in the standard of education in the Northern Region as TV3 found out that in the Gonja District; candidates scored 11.3 percent less than the average score in the 2014 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) in the district.
TV3’s probe revealed that as a result of the lack of teachers in about eighteen schools, pupils leave for their homes during school hours.
Some of the schools with teachers also have either one or two teachers teaching the whole primary school. In some cases, the few teachers are forced to combine two or more classes to cover all the students”.
“I move from class to class. When I come I plan schedule such that I take one class after the other in that order until I am able to occupy the entire day. I only combine classes five and six together because the other classes cannot be combined due to their poor performance so I handle them individually”.
Another teacher said, “I have combined classes five and six, primaries three and four combined and primary two and one combined”.
The teachers say they have also not been paid their salaries despite being stretched beyond their limits.
“We were paid sometime ago but it’s been a year now and I have not been paid; but because it’s in the community we are ready to help teach the children.
Some of the schools in the Central Gonja District have nicely built classroom blocks but have fewer teachers. The few teachers in the district are mostly volunteers’ not on government payroll but are sacrificing to teach the children.
The District Director of Education told TV3 there was the need for the Ghana Education Service to take the staff rationalization exercise much more seriously by posting excess teachers from privileged schools to under-privileged ones.
“A major challenge in education in our district is how to get teachers for the various schools.You will not be surprised to visit a six-unit classroom block nicely built for an area only to have three or two teachers. And it is also common to see a school without a teacher at all. And this is why we are calling for staff rationalization such that where there is excess or adequate teachers some should be taken to areas where they are needed”.
Nonetheless, the district has staff bungalows for most of the schools. The bungalows have solar panels to power them in the midst of worsening power crisis.