February 18, 2014

Five out of the seven Junior High Schools (JHS) in the Salaga North constituency, scored zero while the remaining two performed below 10 per cent, in the 2013 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE).

Mr Alhassan Mumuni, Member of Parliament (MP) for Salaga North who disclosed this to the Ghana News Agency during a

sod-cutting ceremony to commence work on the construction of a six unit classroom block at Kpanshie, decried the poor performance of schools in the area.

The Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFUND) is supporting the construction of the classroom block at the cost of GH₵ 296,000, which would also include a library and urinal facilities.

He observed that the performance of the district in the BECE continued to dwindle and that the performance declined from 44 per cent to 22 per cent and 8.7 per cent in the last three years

The MP attributed the cause of the decline to weak supervision of teachers in public schools, as one of the major causes of the fallen standards of education in northern Ghana, especially among schools in the Salaga North.

Mr Mumuni explained that supervisors had the mandate to ensure that teachers were punctual to school, served as the link between the school and the community, as well as educated community members on their rights and responsibilities to the schools.

“Most teachers knowing that they were not strictly supervised, do not either attend school regularly to teach, or they render poor teaching to the school children, which is affecting educational standards,” he said.

Mr Mumuni stressed that the lack of effective supervisory role in Public Schools was a serious problem affecting the quality of education, and called for collaboration among stakeholders in education to help reverse the trend.

He observed that most of the teachers in the area live in Tamale and commute daily to school, adding that due to that they end lessons by 12 noon, and return to Tamale.

The MP said some of the schools lacked trained teachers and only relied on visiting teachers who were unable to build strong foundations for the children.

Mr Mumuni said due to the poor performance, most children had dropped out of school, and that had given rise to teenage pregnancies

He called on stakeholders, including Members of Parliament, Assembly Members, Opinion leaders, and parents to actively team up with school management teams, to ensure that performance of schools progressed successfully.

As part of efforts to ensure quality education he said, 30 per cent of his share of the MP’s Common Fund would be invested in various projects, such as buying of motor bikes for the supervisors to discharge their duties effectively.

Mr Mumuni said plans were far advanced to start an inter-school quiz competition to promote completion and also institute best teacher award.

The MP appealed to parents not to shirk their responsibilities and provide for their children and monitor their academic progress by visiting them at school to interact with their teachers.

Mr Ishahaku Baba Yusuf, Deputy District Director of Education in charge of Supervision who confirmed the situation to GNA said the work of supervisors had stalled because the directorate lacked means of transportation and fuel for effective supervision.

“ The officers are there but they don’t have motor bikes and fuel to visit their respective schools. The circuit supervisor position is no more lucrative because it does not have attractive incentives,” he said.

He said most of the students could not read and write and that more attention was needed at the kindergarten and primary levels to build a solid foundation.