Teachers abandon pupils during class hours

An emerging problem observed recently in the present educational system is the exodus of teachers from the classrooms during class hours to undertake sandwich programmes all to the detriment of the poor pupil or student who expects to imbibe knowledge at the end of the term.

The sandwich programmes which enable teachers to upgrade themselves academically and professionally is mostly organized between the months of May and July every year and the teachers have to leave the classroom for those programmes not considering the fact that pupils are still in school to be taught.

It is also noted that the tertiary institutions which organize these sandwich programmes do not adjust their calendars to suit that of the basic and second cycle schools in the country thereby “stealing” a whooping eight to ten weeks contact period or more between the students and teachers in the academic year.

This disturbing situation was revealed at the Koforidua Technical Institute (KOTECH) yesterday during the opening ceremony of the 27th Conference of the Association of Principals of Technical Institutions (APTI).

Speaking at the function, Alhaji Alhassan Umar, President of APTI, called on stakeholders and the Ministry of Education to passionately check the situation “to safeguard our pupils and students from the no teacher in the classroom syndrome between the months of May and July.”

Alhaji Umar used the occasion to call on the Government through the Ministry of Education to award minor contracts to the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions in the country to enable them acquire some income to supplement their various budgets.

He also lamented that in spite of the machines and equipment being used by Technical schools which consume more electricity, they were still being given equal subsidy as is given to the Senior High Schools.

“Technical and Vocational Education and Training institutions need a higher factor of utility subsidy to cater for the much consumed power,” he stressed.

Alhaji Umar emphasized that TVET education would be a mirage in the country if some basic facilities such as training materials and modern equipment were not provided to the TVET institutions, adding that, retraining of the teaching staff to meet developmental and contemporary trends would make TVET realistic in Ghana.

This year’s conference was on the theme, “Quality Assurance for Effective and Efficient TVET Delivery towards Job Creation and Employment” and was joined by the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC) to symbolically commission 27 computer labs for all technical schools across Ghana.

In a speech read on her behalf, Mrs. Betty Mould Iddrisu, Education Minister, assured TVET institutions of government’s immense support and admonished the Principals to instill discipline and good moral behaviour in their students so as to make them responsible persons in future.

Source: GNA

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