The Minister of Education, Professor Naana Jane Opoku Agyemang has revealed that on the average, teacher time-on-task in schools is only 39- 41 per cent.
According to the minister, this means that about 60 per cent of the time allotted for teaching in school is not used for academic work, but rather wasted by teachers on extraneous activities such as attending to drop-in visitors and mobile phones, responding to call and whatsaap messaging.
She, therefore, called on teachers to make effective use of the full duration specified for each lesson on the time table.
The minister also condemned teachers who absent themselves from school without reasonable cause, describing the practice as a challenge that hinders academic progress in schools.
In a speech delivered on her behalf by a retired educationist, Mr. David Sottie, as the guest speaker at the 25th anniversary celebration of Ada Senior High Technical School, Prof. Opoku-Agyemang noted that “nothing can replace a teacher’s commitment and accountability”.
The celebration had the theme, ‘Quality pedagogy-a tool for social transformation’.
Pedagogy is the science and principles of teaching, training and instructing people within a certain age bracket, especially, children.
The minister reiterated the need for teachers to go to the classroom prepared to teach, reminding them of the importance of adequately preparing lesson notes and revise them ahead of class session since teacher preparedness is a key determinant for teacher effectiveness and efficiency.
The minister added that, the quality of the teacher-learner interaction in the classroom, was dependent on both the teacher and learner, but urged teachers to do more in making learning enjoyable.
The Minister of Education was of the view that since in quality pedagogy the assessment of the learner forms an integral part of the teaching and learning process, teachers must facilitate and also have the foresight and the knowledge to assess the progress of the learner’s academic performance.
Mr. Peter Attafuah, Greater Accra Regional Director for Education, congratulated the school for the achievements over the years, and also commended traditional authorities for supporting education in the area by releasing parcels of land for educational projects.
He encouraged teachers to use more interesting materials and methods for teaching while advising the students to take their learning seriously since they also have a role to ensure quality education, and also project the image of their school.
The headmaster of the school, Mr. Tetteh Narh-Saam, for his part, said the school, which has a student population of 1,880 and a staff strength of 119, remained committed in producing more well trained students.
However, he said the efforts of the school were being hampered by infrastructural challenges.
He cited a stalled dining hall project which has left students with no option than to sit in the open to eat, adding that the school needs an additional dormitory block to cater for the increasing student numbers.
Moreover, he said the school lacks a sick bay and a school bus, and therefore, called on the government and stakeholders for support.
From Dzifa Tetteh, Ada