Government 20% Allowance For Teachers Lauded

Government has been commended for the introduction of the free school uniform policy and 20% allowances for rural teachers. This was contained in a statement issued by the Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition (GNECC) after this year�s Education Sector Annual Review meeting. The Coalition recognized government�s commitment to ensuring that children, especially those in deprived communities in Ghana enjoy free quality basic education. It however added that the challenge of extending the free uniform policy to the urban poor remains a challenge which should be confronted by education stakeholders. On the 20% allowance to be paid to teachers working in rural districts, the Coalition commended government for keeping up to its campaign pledge to pay 20% rural allowance to teachers and implored the Ghana Education Service to put in place a stringent mechanism to closely supervise teachers working in rural areas to ensure value for money. On the issue of teacher transfers, the Coalition observed that an effective motivation system for rural teachers cannot succeed without efficient teacher re-distribution. To this end the Coalition has identified one major cause of the overconcentration of trained teachers in the urban areas to be the parallel transfer system being run by the District, Municipal and Metropolitan directorates of the Ghana Education Service on one side, and the Regional directorates of Mission Schools. The current practice of teacher transfers by Mission School Authorities without approval by the Ghana Education Service has led to over concentration of Mission School teachers in urban areas, since majority of Mission Schools are situated in towns and cities at district and regional level. This situation has led to overstaffing of Mission Schools in urban areas at the expense of understaffed schools in rural areas. It called for the conduct of a teacher census at the district level an urgent rationalization of teacher transfer procedures at the district, municipal metropolitan and regional education directorates.