The Minister of Education, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, has said the government has recruited 93,724 teaching and non-teaching staff for the Ghana Education Service (GES) in the last three years.
The figures, he said, included 24,472 graduate teachers, 10,310 non-teaching staff, 55,710 diploma holders and 3,232 who replaced retired or resigned staff of the service.
In addition, he said, the GES had been given the clearance to employ 27,367 more staff by the end of this year.
Dr Prempeh made these known when he took his turn at the Nation Building Updates in Accra yesterday and spoke on the theme: “The teacher at the centre of quality education”.
The Nation Building Updates programme is in series and affords ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) the opportunity to explain their achievements and plans to the public.
The Minister of Education enumerated and highlighted the government’s achievements in teacher education, as well as the promotion of quality education since 2017.
His presentation covered teacher recruitment and retention, education, deployment, career paths, working conditions, rewards and remunerations, standards, accountability and governance in schools.
Dr Prempeh said there was no doubt that teachers were better of under the current government, well trained, highly qualified and motivated, professional and conscious of their role as teachers in the pursuit of better learning outcomes.
He said the government had, since 2017, reinstated the teacher trainee, book and research allowances, with the research allowance having been increased by 200 per cent — from GH¢500 to GH¢1,500.
He said the government had, since 2017, abolished the three-month pay policy, where no matter how long a teacher had served since he or she was engaged, he or she was paid only three months’ salary until such time that he or she was captured onto the government’s payroll.
“So far, this government has cleared over 91 per cent of the legacy arrears that had accrued since 2017 following the failure to pay teachers,” he said, and encouraged those who were affected and were yet to receive their earnings to follow the appropriate channels for their money.
On teacher promotion, the minister said the situation “was a laborious, lengthy and expensive face-to-face interview process that was riddled with perceptions of corruption and victimisation until the current administration” took over.
“This government held the maiden aptitude test for promotion in April this year. Teachers now appreciate the simpler process in place and teachers who were promoted have received their promotion letters and have had their salaries adjusted accordingly,” he said.
Enumerating some of the achievements chalked up in the educational sector, Dr Prempeh said the government had also affiliated all the 46 colleges of education in the country to the five public universities to promote competition among the teacher training institutions.
He said the government had also developed a Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) programme for teacher training.
“We have also developed a National Teacher Standards (NTS) guideline to serve as a benchmark for assessing new teachers,” he said.
Additionally, he said, the government had paid migration arrears to all the members of the Colleges of Education Association of Ghana (CETAG) and had further granted its members the book and research allowance and market premium.
“We have also granted book and research and market premium to senior members of the non-teaching staff of the colleges of education and have further reviewed and placed senior members of the non-teaching staff on a higher entry on the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS),” Dr Prempeh said.