NEW SOFTWARE TO CHECK TEACHER ABSENTEEISM

Education has received the necessary publicity in Ghana with various stakeholders and policies urging parents to take keen interest in educating their wards particularly females.
The over-abundance of schools in the country as well as overcrowding of pupils in schools indicate clearly that the calls have been heeded to. One worrying trend however in recent academic discourse, is the poor performance of students especially at the Basic Education Certificate Examination.
This has called for stakeholder consultation on measures to take to reverse the trend. An NGO, Save Ghana thinks one better way to improve upon this is to ensure regular monitoring of teachers. The Programmes Manager for the project, Moses Batong in an interview at Wa said a software has been developed for that purpose.
Performance of pupils as observed by the Ghana education service has been declining dramatically in recent times.
This comes in the wake of increased technology and other factors that have facilitated learning by making reading materials easily accessible and also enhanced teacher student communication.
Factors such as teacher and pupil absenteeism, inadequate monitoring by the Ghana Education Service, parents showing little or no interest at all in their ward’s activities at school have been labelled as some of the causes. When it comes to monitoring and evaluation, we often hear of complaints about lack of vehicles, motorbikes or fuel for that purpose. In contributing to enhancing performance of students, an NGO Save Ghana has introduced a digital monitoring software which will be piloted in selected schools of the Upper West Region to monitor the activities of teaching and learning. This is a core component of the organisations new education project. Moses Batong is the Programmes Manager for the project, he tells us that the software would be installed on the computer of the district and regional supervisors of education.
He said the application will also be installed on computers that will be designated in the schools to be monitored by selected individuals.
“Any teacher who comes will have to log their reporting and departure time which will reflect on the computers of the supervisors. He said a component will be infused that will even be able to monitor teaching and learning activities of teachers.
Mr Batong says the absence of electricity and internet in some of the communities might be a major setback in the implementation process. He however indicated that they are putting measures in place together with the Regional Coordinating Council, the MMDAs and other stakeholders to install solar panels and network masts in these areas.
Executive Director, Sule Dintie also indicated that parents and other stakeholders will be trained and sensitised to personally monitor their wards at school.
He said the sensitisation will not be outside the dictates of the Ghana Education Service but will include staff of the GES in the exercise which will go strictly by their guidelines.
The Project slated for fifty months and will be carried out in 88 schools in the region. Eight very deprived schools will be selected in one district in consultation with key players in the education sector.
Save Ghana hopes to gift the GES with the software even after the project is completed. The project will be replicated in the Northern and Upper East Regions of Ghana in due course.

Lydia Darlington Fordjour, Wa

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