Classrooms Lack Trained Teachers — Dr Andoh

ProfThe Chairman of the Governing Council of the University of Education, Winneba, Dr. Emmanuel Kenneth Andoh, has expressed regret over the current rate of lack of employment opportunities for graduate teachers despite the fact that many classrooms do not have trained teachers.

“There does not seem to be any meaningful arrangement or clear understanding between the University and the Ghana Education Service (GES), for the recruitment and employment of graduate teachers from this University”, he intimated.

Dr. Andoh, also known as Okofo Amoako Bondam II, Omanhene of Enyan-Maim Traditional Area, was speaking at the 18th congregation of the University of Education, Winneba (UEW) last Friday for the students who completed their course of study at the Winneba Campus.

Students from the Faculties of Social Science Education, Science Education, Languages of Education, Educational Studies and the Schools of Creative Arts and Graduate Studies were awarded degrees, diplomas and certificates.

Another congregation would be organised for students who completed their course of study at the Kumasi and Mampong campuses. In all, 6,708 students would be graduating from the three campuses of the University during the period.

Dr. Andoh noted that the country was not getting any good returns from the huge investment made in the training of the professional teachers in the University.

“It is estimated that about 48 to 51 per cent of teachers recruited by the GES and are currently at post teaching at the pre-tertiary level, are not professionally qualified” he said.

Dr. Andoh indicated that the fact that many qualified graduate professional teachers remain unemployed should be a matter of serious concern to the Ministry of Education and the Government, at large.

He said “many of this University’s graduates purposefully trained and technically equipped to teach in our primary and secondary schools, roam our streets without jobs while many of our classrooms have no teachers or at best have only untrained pupil teachers”.

Touching on admission, Dr. Andoh explained that the University increased its intake from 4,725 to 7,742 for the 2013/2014 academic year, saying, “this figure excludes the number admitted to various distance Education programmes of the University”.

The Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Akwasi Asabere-Ameyaw, reiterated the need for the country to justify the use of the tax payer’s money in the training of teachers by giving teachers the opportunities to teach after their training.

“Let us note that the Ghanaian child has the constitutional right to basic education; and achieving universal primary education goes beyond building classrooms and insisting that all children of school going age go to school; and the provision of free meals and free school uniforms to them” he said.

He further said “our children will need to be provided with teachers and relevant and adequate teaching or learning materials, even if they attend ‘school under trees’; and while in school they should feel like learning, and be made to learn”.

Prof. Asabere-Ameyaw said “Ghanaians should be concerned if 70 per cent of children in certain parts of the country could not read, write and possibly do basic arithmetic, after 11 years of schooling, and we need to be responsive to the needs of the Ghanaian child”.

He stated that the success of what the country hoped to achieve hinges on the quality of its teachers.

Prof. Asabere-Ameyaw, therefore, indicated that teachers should form the most vital component of the country’s organisational capacity.

The nation, he explained, should appeal to potential teachers through more competitive remuneration, faster promotions, and strong emphasis on continual upgrading and professional development.

Additionally, he said, incentives should be given to trainee teachers to attract the best brains into the teaching profession.

Prof. Asabere-Ameyaw also expressed the University’s commitment of fulfilling its mandate of training and producing high calibre teachers for all the levels of the nation’s educational setup.

He mentioned encroachment of the University’s lands by some developers as one of the major challenges facing the institution.

“These encroachments are so serious that some of the expansion efforts of the University may be hampered”, he stated. From David Yarboi-Tetteh, Winneba

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