The Parliamentary Select Committee on Education has raised concern about what they termed ‘over staffing’ in some senior high schools in the country.
Per the Ghana Education Service (GES) standard teacher student ratio was 1:35 but all the six schools visited by the committee in the Bono East, Bono, and Ahafo regions respectively failed to meet the GES requirement due to low enrolment into those schools.
This means that averagely more teachers were doing less work at the expense of the tax payer.
The schools visited by the committee were Tuobodom Technical Senior High School, Techiman Senior High School, Ahafoman, OLA Girls SHS, Twene Amanfo Technical SHS and Notre Dame Girls Senior High School.
The teacher student ratio at Tuobodom SHS was 1:19 while Techiman SHS was 1:24.
The ratio of Ahafoman SHS stood at 1:22 while that of Notre Dame Girls SHS, OLA Girls SHS, Twene Amanfo Technical SHS were1:17, 1:21 and 1:19 respectively.
It came up that the low student teacher ratios were due to the fact that schools lack the infrastructural capacity to admit more students.
These came to the fore when the Parliamentary Select Committee on Education paid a working visit to the selected schools as part of its oversight responsibilities to monitor their performance following the implementation of the Free SHS policy by government.
Speaking to the media on the issue Mr William Agyapong Quaittoo reiterated the need for the expansion of infrastructure in those schools in order to admit more students.
At the Notre Dame Girls SHS in the Sunyani West District, the headmistress of the school, Irene Brookman Arthur revealed that eight students of the school made up of seven boarders and one day students got pregnant last academic year due to the long break explaining that they got pregnant while at home and were allowed to come back after delivery.
Mr Moses Anim, a member of the committee and MP for Trobu in the Ga South Constituency called on religious institutions to strengthen the moral upbringing of their members so as to reduce pregnancy in schools.
Other issues that came to the attention of the committee were delayed payment of teachers’ motivation and promotions, among others.
The fact finding mission which was sponsored by Star Ghana would also see the committee visiting schools at Tepa and Mankraso in the Ashanti Region.
FROM DANIEL DZIRASAH, SUNYANI