SAVE-Ghana, a non-profit organisation has launched a web-based technology that would help check teacher absenteeism in 88 basic schools in the Upper West Region.
The technology was launched under a 15- month project dubbed, “Improving learning outcomes through ICT and evidence based approach in the Upper West Region,” being funded from Making All Voices Count, an NGO.
The technology involves an application on an internet-based device that would allow teachers to clock-in when they report at school and clock-out when they depart.
The daily clocking would be automatically recorded and tallied on a linked computer at the district offices of the respective schools.
As part of the project all the 11 district education offices and the selected schools would be provided with networked computers and Android devices to operate the clocking application.
Mr. Sule Tayiru Dintie, Executive Director SAVE-Ghana said he was optimistic the facility would help the district offices to effectively monitor teacher attendance to eliminate absenteeism.
He noted that the Education Sector Performance Review (ESPR 2008) report indicated that Ghana remained the highest investor in the education sector in the sub-region; investing 30 per cent of its annual budget in the sector.
“Notwithstanding the huge investment in the sector, poor learning outcomes continue to manifest in basic schools leading to poor quality basic education,” he said.
Mr. Dintie noted that work by SAVE-Ghana and other actors in the education sector have also shown that beside inadequate supply of teaching and learning resources, poor learning outcomes is largely caused by loss of valuable contact hours.
Another daunting challenge to poor learning outcomes, he mentioned, is the use of school children especially in deprived and rural schools for private labour on farms of teachers, describing the practice as a violation of the labour laws and the Ghana Education (GES) Service regulations.
“It is for these reasons that SAVE-Ghana together with Making All Voices Count and the GES launched the innovative governance and accountability project,” he said.
Dr. Musheibu Mohammed Alfa, Upper West Deputy Regional Minister said teacher absenteeism and teacher indiscipline were the greatest challenges affecting education performance in the region.
He expressed hope that the SAVE-Ghana intervention would be able to improve on monitoring of teachers to eliminate the teacher associated challenges.
Dr. Alfa said development in the 21st Century is driven by information and communication technology, adding that government in that regard has invested in the training of ICT teachers, distributed laptops to facilitate the teaching of the subject and provided community information centres to connect people living in rural areas to the rest of the world.
The Deputy Regional Minister expressed hope that these initiatives by government and others such as the project by SAVE-Ghana, would help to enhance the human resource base for the socio-economic development of the country.
Mr. Sachibu Mohammed, Country Engagement Developer of Making All Voices Count, noted that technology presented many advantages capable of addressing development challenges.
What was needed, he said, was collaboration and teamwork that would enable institutions to effectively explore and utilise ICT to address challenges and enhance development.