22 February 2013

Ghana: Public Schools Are Useless - Prof. Adei

Odumase — A former Rector of Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), Prof. Stephen Adei has expressed grave concern over the fallen standard of education in the country, particularly in the public primary schools.

According to him, the public primary system, with trained teachers and enjoying single spine salaries, are doing a worse job than the typical private schools accommodated in temporary structures with untrained teachers.

"The nation is already spending so much on our education and getting little out of it. In fact, the public primary system, with its trained teachers with single spine salaries are doing (a) worse job than the typical private schools accommodated in structures not better than schools under tress with teachers most of them secondary drop-outs", he declared.

Professor Adei made the condemnation in his keynote address at the 5th Speech and Prize giving Day celebration of Manya Krobo Senior High School (SHS), on the theme: "The Relevance of Discipline and Knowledge in Enhancing Excellence".

The celebration also coincided with the 45th anniversary of the institution with people from all walks of life including politicians, traditional rulers, and academicians in attendance.

Mapping out solutions to the canker, Prof. Adei suggested a firm policy framework, holding those responsible for poor educational output accountable, improving the management of schools, effective supervision of teachers and possible linking of remuneration to performance.

He declared, "it is high time no one should be allowed to go to the negotiation table with government without considering performance and pay as the two main agenda", stressing, "paying teachers well and improving on their conditions should not be a right but in exchange of performance."

Notwithstanding, he called for a positive change in attitude of government, teachers and parents to be able to guarantee a better future for the children of the country.

In spite of his criticism, Prof. Adei expressed optimism about the future of the country, partly because the status quo would not persist for ever and sooner or later government, teachers and parents would hold people accountable to their performance.

He further contended that, modern technology and willingness to have a positive attitude would lead to rapid improvement in the educational landscape in no time.

Prof. Adei also called on government to partner the various religious bodies and the private sector to deliver quality education.

On his part, the headmaster of the school, Rev. Isaac S. Kwao, gave a brief history of the institution which he said was officially opened on November 15,1968 with 12 students and was founded by the traditional authority in collaboration with the then Ministry of Education now Ghana Education Service.

According to him, the school started as a residential school for boys only and later became a co-educational institution operating both residential and day system since 1971.

He said his welcome address would incomplete if he did not mention infrastructure deficit which has become the greatest enemy to almost all educational institutions in the country and appealed for support in order to improve the academic record of the school.

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