As if these are not enough, it is saddening that Government and the Ghana Education Service have permitted some school authorities to cash in on the situation by making demands on parents in the forms of paint, cement, plastic chair, cash and others. NAGRAT appalls the practice whether it was done with or without the consent of parents, since such parents are currently vulnerable and desperate to do anything under duress to secure admission for their children.
With the (CSSPS) it is expected that selection and placement should be faster than the manual system. The long delay in placing children this year therefore gives room for worry. The fall out of this development is that pressure will be mounted on teachers to make up for the lost contact hours for almost one full term. The pressure on teachers will further be compounded by over bloated class sizes which are likely to occur as a result of excesses in placement of children in some schools. The implications of excessive placement in certain schools will include deviance, health problems, weak class control and consequently poor performance.
- NAGRAT recommends that the Ghana Education Service and heads of schools collaborate to determine vacancies available for placement in each school. The current practice of forcing headmasters to admit all students placed in their schools irrespective of vacancies is a sure recipe for failure and must be stopped with immediate effect.
- The practice of making demands on parents in the form of material and cash is condemnable and must be stopped. We recommend that government steps in to issue directives to stop the practice.
- We call for investigation into the operation of the CSSPS to instill sanity and ensure that children are selected and placed purely on merit
- The present dichotomy between endowed and less endowed schools is discriminatory against children and teachers posted to the less endowed schools. Immediate steps must be taken by government and all stakeholders to bridge the gap by providing infrastructural facilities and other resources to uplift the less endowed schools and reduce the pressure on the few endowed ones.
- While we call on government to provide facilities for less endowed schools, parents and children are also encouraged to accept placement in any school where they are placed to reduce the pressure on the heads of endowed schools.
- NAGRAT further recommends that never again should we allow the release of placement to delay the way it did this year since it has far-reaching consequences on academic performance.
- Finally we call on government to institute remedial measures to make up for the lost contact hours.
It is important that these issues are taken seriously and urgently addressed in the interest of quality education in Ghana. If this clarion call is ignored and we continue to perpetuate inefficiencies as above, teachers will not be responsible for any unpleasant outcome.
STANISAUS P. NABOME