From Sebastian R. Freiku, Kumasi
The Public Interest Research and Advocacy Network (PIRAN) has called for an increased pay for teachers in the face of the proposed extension of contact hours in public schools.
The NGO noted that teachers spend lesser hours of the constitutional work period of 8 hours, hence the lower income.
A statement issued in Kumasi and signed by its President, Felix Djan Foh, urged teachers and stakeholders in educational programmes and policies to build sufficient grounds to demand an equally high pay, enjoyed by their colleagues in other public sectors of the working population.
Last week Tuesday, the Minister of Education, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, while speaking at the National Education Sector Review Forum in Accra tasked the National Council for Curriculum Assessment to revise the closing time for public basic schools in Ghana and proposed that contact hours in basic schools be extended from 2pm to 4pm.
The theme for the National Education Sector Review Forum was: “Strengthening Accountability for results”.
But PIRAN has suggested that there is the need for stakeholders in educational programmes and policies to weight the available options and make the best decision in the larger public interest.
According to PIRAN, the Minister’s position has its own merits and demerits to the pupils, teachers and the parents.
It said there is no research findings presently to establish the fact that closing late or early can improve the teaching and learning in our basic schools, since some countries like France, United States of America and other countries close 1pm earlier than the closing time in Ghana and yet we cannot compare the quality of their teaching and learning to ours.
The NGO believes that such proposals need a broader consultation with the Fair Wages and Salary Commission (FWSC) and the teacher unions to agree on a pay increase for the teachers to cover the additional two hours extra time being proposed, since most teachers especially the youthful ones will not commit themselves if their salaries are not increased to commensurate the additional time added.
PIRAN said the present 2 pm closing time has economic and social benefits, as most students are used by parents after school as economic assets to help them (parents) in their trade and in some cases on farms help in the farming communities.
It said there is also the disadvantage of being restless at home when the parents have not closed from work and also the temptation of following bad friends to pick deviant and negatives behaviors at the blind side of both parents and teachers.
The Kumasi-based NGO, however, observed that the proposed 4 pm closing time has the advantage of keeping pupils busy at school to prevent them from picking deviant behaviors in absence of their parents and teachers.
The proposal has also the advantage of giving both teachers and pupils the chance to cover more syllabus and have enough and sufficient time for better and effective teaching and learning, and also have ample time for advance preparation towards examination.
“In this case, the parents can save money meant for extra classes and also be assured of the child’s safety from unnecessarily roaming after school”, PIRAN observed.
From Sebastian R. Freiku, Kumasi The Public Interest Research and Advocacy Network (PIRAN) has called for an increased pay for teachers in the face of the proposed extension of contact hours in public schools. The NGO noted that teachers spend lesser hours of the constitutional work period of 8 hours, hence the lower income. […] Read Full Story