The Ministry of Education (MoE) has finally received clearance to employ over 22,000 personnel –both teaching and non-teaching staff– after government put a ban on employment in the education sector in the last few years.
“The ministry has received clearance to replace, recruit, reappoint and re-instate 22,802 personnel of different categories and has accordingly directed the Director-General of the Ghana Education Service to go through the process of employing these teaching and non-teaching staff,” Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh said this when addressing Parliament in Accra.
Currently, there are 260,000 teachers in the country, and additional 45,000 extra teachers are needed to provide universal basic education in the country.
Speaking on the floor of Parliament recently, Dr. Opoku Prempeh said the process of employing these staff has started effectively, and the Director-General and management of GES are working out the modalities.
“The entire process of employment of these staff will be completed by the end of the year,” he said.
Last year, there were several calls by the University Teachers Association (UTAG) to government to lift the ban on employment so as to enable, especially tertiary institutions, employ new staff to improve the quality of teaching at that level.
Subsequently, a financial clearance was granted to the Education Ministry to employ 1,000 staff, a directive which the University Teachers Association rejected saying: “The vacancies that needs to be filled by the University of Ghana alone, as regards all categories of staff stands at 1,200.
Surprisingly, the association said financial clearance from the Ministry of Finance gives the university only 238 slots to be filled putting undue pressure on the few lecturers available.
So, with the new directive from the Ministry of Education to employ 22,802 will mean therefore that, the country will increase its qualified teachers and boost quality of teaching and learning in various levels of education.
According to a UNESCO report, while there had been a 61-per cent increase in the number of primary school teachers over the past decade, the percentage of trained teachers fell gradually from 72 per cent in 1999 to 53 per cent in 2013.
The country, the report said, needs to expand teacher recruitment by just 10 per cent per year to achieve Universal Primary Education by 2020, while reducing its pupil-teacher ratio to 40:1.
“This is below its five per cent average annual growth rate of teachers since 1999. Yet, the number of existing teachers need to be trained must grow by almost 10 per cent per year to ensure that there will be 40 pupils per trained teacher in 2020, down from 59:1 in 2013.
This is well above the two per cent average growth rate of trained teachers since 1999,” it said.