Ghanaian teachers in public basic schools are “criminals” because “they do not teach” yet take their salaries and send their children to private schools, a former rector of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), Professor Stephen Adei, has said.
That attitude of Ghanaian teachers, he said, is affecting the quality of education at the primary level.
Responding to critics who argue that the government’s double-track system will affect the quality of education at the high school level, Prof Adei told Benjamin Akakpo on Class91.3FM’s Executive Breakfast Show that: “Quality issues have nothing to do with the double-track system. The quality issue, first and foremost, lies in our basic education”.
“Eighty per cent of Ghanaian children attend public basic schools, and if you go there, many of the teachers are pure criminals. They don’t teach, and the worst still is that: people who have been trained as teachers, and they are paid more than GHS1,000 a month to teach in the public schools, send their children to private basic schools where the teachers are secondary school failures.
“In other words, they are saying that we will not teach and we’ll take our children to be taught by untrained secondary school failures. Why? Because, there, their children will pass and go to secondary school”, Prof Adei explained.
In his view, the answer to Ghana’s education malice “lies in making sure that the public schools teach, and it always lies with supervision. At this moment, even teacher training is not the most important thing but the supervision and making them accountable and that if they don’t teach, they’re fired, without adding a pesewa, you can improve the quality of basic education, at least, four times and once you produce better basic education graduates, immediately, you’ve improved secondary school.”
He noted that so far as he is concerned, Ghana has the “worst basic education system in terms of quality and output in the whole world. Go to Togo, every child who has been in school for two years can read. Go to any Ghanaian [public basic] school and see if there is a Class Two pupil who can read and you’ll not get more than one out of 10, and yet, I, Stephen Adei, can teach a child to read within three months so long as he is five years old…”
Prof Adei, among others, was the former Head of the UN System in South Africa, UNDP Resident Representative in Namibia, Economist and Chief of the Directorate of Africa Bureau, UNDP, New York; Senior Economist of the Commonwealth Secretariat, London, and was also a staff of the Ghana Investment Centre where he rose to the be the Deputy Director and Head of Research.
He has taught economics at both the University of Ghana and the University of Sydney, and undertaken several consultancy assignments.