Kwasi Kwarteng, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Education (MoE) has described as misleading and untrue a report by Africa Education Watch that some 44,000 teachers in the 2021 academic year alone quit teaching in the country.
The Education Think Tank – EduWatch in its new year message copied to EducationWeb.com.gh quoting a provisional date from EMIS said some 44,000 (over 15%) teachers left basic schools in 2021 with no replacement.
“The Education Ministry must engage more teachers to address the deficit and ensure the postings of all teachers being recruited to deprived districts where they are needed with no protocol consideration,” It said in the message.
The Deputy Ranking Member on the Education Select Committee of Parliament, Dr Clement Apaak in line with the Think Tank also said 44,000 teachers out of the 284,000 public basic school teachers stopped teaching last year.
According to the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Builsa South Constituency and Parliament Education Committee member, the 44,000 representing 15% is the highest in 20 years in the country’s education system.
But, the Education Ministry Public Relations Officer (PRO) reacting to the claim said no such huge number of government basic school teachers last academic year left the teaching profession for other careers.
“Let me place it on record that the claim or report from Dr Clement Apaak and Africa Education Watch is from a clear misinform position,” the Ministry of Education spokesman told UTV’s Agya Kwabena in a late-night show on Friday.
He explained that the 44,000 public school teachers the EMIS report claim left the teaching profession in the 2021 year are mainly Colleges of Education trainees, National Service and NABCO personnel and not professional teachers.
“That EMIS figure widely shared by some online news portals is even wrong, the actual number of the unprofessional teachers deployed to assist teaching was 34,000 and not 44,000 as the date claims,” Mr Kwarteng told UTV.
In a related development, the Education Policy Research and Advocacy Organization (EduWatch) has called on the Ghana Education Service (GES) to use the Colleges of Education trainees allowance to recruit more teachers this year.
Describing the teacher trainee allowance policy as wasteful, EduWatch said the GHC 242 million to be spent on the Colleges students as their allowance can recruit 6,000 extra teachers that are urgently needed in the rural schools.
“The Ministry of Education (MoE) must scrap this wasteful policy and prioritise its spending amid dwindling budgetary resources due to the national revenue and debt situation,” the Think Tank said in a press statement on Monday.
Kofi Asare, EduWatch Executive Director also said if he was an advisor to the government, he would recommend that the GH¢ 250 million to be spent on teacher trainees allowance in 2022 be rather used to employ extra teachers.