Scrap undue delay in teacher academic progression and upgrading is the call from the African Foundation for Educational Development (AFED) but will the Ghana Education service act ?
Ekow Paintsil Djan writes on teacher academic progression …
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The Ghana Education Service, in 2015, rolled out a directive which ensures that newly posted teachers with Diploma would have to observe seven (7) years in the teaching service before being upgraded to the next rank , apart from the traditional four years promotion process.
Attached to this directive, teachers would have to obtain permission from the district office before attempting to embark on any form of further studies ie. Distance Education and Sandwich Education.
The directive also seeks to ensure that all teachers at such level are strictly monitored and regulated such that, they attain a minimum of four years in the service before attempting to pursue higher Learning. This then justifies the 7 years upgrading directive.
The Foundation, finds this directive and the norms surrounding it very disincentive to the path of academia teachers have chosen to chart.
With the introduction of the Bachelor of Education program in our Colleges of Education ( CoE) it is estimated that, the first batch of graduates would directly be placed on the rank of Principal Superintendent(PS) when employed. While in- service teachers would be struggling to meet a four restriction term before gaining permission to embark on further studies.
It is worthy of notice that, even with the introduction of the one year Top- Up – Program which allows National Service Personnel to up grade themselves in terms of studies, some District Education offices still hold on to the directives stated above, punishing teachers to strictly adhere to the 4 years restrictions before furthering, whether the one opts for Distance Education or sandwich over the traditional study leave mode.
In 2019, no teacher under the GES was promoted to the rank of P.S Assistant Director II and I as well as Deputy Director.
The disadvantages this situation poses are numerous.
It renders as waste , the time spent awaiting approval and money spent on studies when denied up grading in due time.
Zero Up grading and promotion in the shortest possible time.
It reduces the interest and zeal of the teacher since the directive finds itself unfair to the teaching profession.
Both the Four years wait restriction and the Seven years promotion directive have outlived it’s implementation considering the many interventions that have been introduced to bridge the gap between the Diploma Certificate and the B.Ed Certificate.
The African Foundation for Educational Development ( AFED) , calls on the G.E.S to scrap off the four years restriction and the Seven year qualification up grade owing to the many positive reforms introduced in our current educational structure.
The G.E.S must come out with a clear- cut counter directive to allow teachers to embark on further studies irrespective of which year the one was employed in the service.
A.F.E.D calls on the various Teacher Union to add up in resolving the issues surrounding this policy, considering the fact that, it is no longer relevant to our current education system.
The Ghana Education Service must put up very flexible measures for upgrading once the teacher is qualified and due the required rank in order to prevent undue victimisation of teachers.
Once attention is paid to teacher upgrade and promotion, it serves a lot of incentive purposes boosting staff morale and efficiency.
Ernest Kwame Adade
African Foundation for Educational Development (AFED)