The Ministry of Finance (MOF) has given the Ministry of Education (MOE) clearance to employ 2,500 teachers to fill a teacher deficit in mathematics and science in pre-tertiary institutions.
This was announced by the Deputy Minister of Education in charge of Tertiary, Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, at a meeting of regional executive members of the National Service Personnel Association (NASPA) in Accra last Wednesday.
He said the MOE had already shortlisted 6,000 applicants in its initial processes. They would be made to write an examination on May 21, 2016 to reduce the number before being deployed to schools across the country for the next academic year. The meeting, which brought together 60 regional executive members of NASPA across the country, was organised by the management of the National Service Scheme (NSS) to discuss issues relating to the welfare of the service personnel and how to overcome some of the challenges they faced in their duties.
Mr Ablakwa said science resource centres were being equipped as part of measures to promote the teaching of mathematics and science to clear the misconception that those subjects were meant for extraordinary students.
“It is important to also stress that there are other interventions going on. We have engaged experts in mathematics and science who are retraining our teachers at all levels on the teaching methodology,” he said.
Mr Ablkwa urged young graduates to take advantage of scholarships that were available in the country to further their education.
“Every year, there are quite a number of scholarship slots which are not often utilised,” he stated.
The minister added that “we have signed bilateral agreements with a number of countries who are offering these scholarships and there is no reason why students should not benefit from them”.
Extension of service
In a related development, the NASPA executive members passed a resolution at the meeting for an extension of the national service period for personnel who would finish their service in August this year but wished to stay on.
The NASPA executive members observed that there were no ready jobs for the about 40,000 personnel who would be completing their service year.
The decision to employ more teachers was arrived at after the MOE carried out an inventory of the teaching staff to ascertain the challenges in the various subject areas last year.
It came out that there was a shortfall of 2,500 mathematics and science teachers; a factor which accounted for the poor performance of students in public examinations.
Following that exercise, a transparent recruitment process began with the advertisement of vacancies for potential teachers.
A total of 18,000 applications were received by the MOE, out of which 6,000 have been shortlisted for the final selection examination.