Special Rural Allowance For Teachers

The government has approved a 20 per cent salary allowance for teachers who serve in deprived communities of the country. The initiative, which is aimed at addressing disparity in teacher distribution to attract more teachers to deprived parts of the country, will be implemented from the next financial year. The Minister of Education, Mr Alex Tettey-Enyo, made this known at the 2009 National Education Sector Annual Review in Accra yesterday. He said the Ghana Education Service (GES) had been charged to develop the modalities under which the teachers would benefit, adding that the GES must also take concrete measures to change teacher attitude and rationalise the distribution of teachers. �Serious attention should be paid to improving the situation of teachers in public schools if quality teaching and learning is to be achieved,� he said, adding that �current concerns about teacher management, placement and terms and conditions of service require dispassionate discussion among all parties�. Mr Tettey-Enyo noted that the compilation report on the National Education Forum which discussed the duration of the senior high school education had been completed and that it was submitted to Cabinet on Thursday. During the year under review, he said, the educational sector had ensured that it remained focused on its goal to create more opportunities for knowledge acquisition, together with improving the quality of teaching and learning at every level. �The launch of the Educational Reform in 2007 marked the turning point with the adoption of a new thinking and approach to the provision of education for the Ghanaian child. Efforts have, therefore, been made to ensure that the educational system is able to respond to the changing needs of the political, economic social spheres of national development,� he said. Mr Tettey-Enyo said the National Apprenticeship Programme, which would provide opportunity for skills training for juinor high school (JHS) graduates who opted for a work-focused technical and vocational training, would commence this year. With the establishment of the Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COVET), he said, it was expected that a re-packaging of TVET would help remove the misconceptions about technical education. He said such new outlook should lead to the strengthening of the link among industry, employers and institutions offering TVET. Mr Tettey-Enyo said the preliminary report during the year showed that there was an increase in both the number of schools and enrolment at the basic level, with the primary gross enrollment ratio now 95.2 per cent and net ratio reaching 83.4 per cent. The gross admission rate, he said, rose to 107.3 per cent, pointing out that �the efforts of the campaign to send girls to school are also showing results, with a decreasing gap between boys and girls, especially at the point of completion�. �The situation at the JHS level is equally improving. Actual enrolments have increased by 25 per cent from 2003-2004, with the current gross enrolment ratio at 78.8 per cent, albeit quite marginal. Senior high school (SHS) is also experiencing slight increases in enrolment,� he said. Mr Tettey-Enyo said despite the evidence of considerable weaknesses in the attainment of literacy and numeracy skills, steady progress was being made towards improving the teaching and learning of literacy skills. On textbooks, he said their distribution had improved currently, except in some areas of the north where disparities in the allocation of books had become evident. The acting Chief Director of the Ministry of Education, Mr James Afranie, said the review meeting, among other things, was to discuss the draft 2010-2020 education plan.