Students in class
The Talensi District Director of Education, Miss Emilia Abdullah Adiza, has said that the district has a number of challenges facing the educational sector, but sees the absenteeism of students and teachers as a big worry to the District Education Directorate.
According to her, apart from the inadequate number of teaching and learning materials in schools in the district, structures and furniture, children absenting themselves from school at will and lateness of teachers to school are the most pressing issues.
There is a situation where children absent themselves from school to work for money in illegal mining areas in the Talensi District. There is also another group of students who absent themselves on market days.
She linked these unpleasant situations to the low performance of students in the district but gave an assurance that some efforts were underway to change the situation.
The District Director of Education was speaking in an interview in Bolgatanga in reaction to the theme for this year’s World Teachers’ Day: “The Right to Education Means the Right to a Qualified Teacher: The Role of Stakeholders”.
For a very long time, many teachers posted to schools in the Talensi District have preferred to stay in Bolgatanga and Tongo as they travel some long distances on a daily basis to get to their schools.
The Talensi District cannot boast of good roads apart from the road linking Bolgatanga to Tongo hence riding motorbikes over these bad roads cause the teachers to be late to school. There are cases where teachers travelling to their schools have been involved in minor accidents or the motorbikes damaged as a result of the bad nature of the roads. These among other issues are the leading causes of their frequent absence from class.
She believes that one sure way of reducing teacher-absenteeism is to get teachers to be attracted and motivated to stay near or in the communities where their schools are located. This would help curb lateness.
Over the years, some stakeholders in the Upper East Region have suggested that the Ghana Education Service should post teachers to schools that are closer to their dwelling places, but this suggestion cannot be implemented fully because many teachers prefer to stay in communities with all social amenities, including electricity and health facilities.
FROM: Ebo Bruce-Quansah, Bolgatanga