Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Ashesi University, Prof. Stephen Adei has recommended the dismissal of all Directors of Education and teachers under the Ghana Education Service as a major step towards improving the quality education at the basic level.
According to the former GIMPA Rector, the Directors of Education who number over 400, continue to supervise a collapsing education system at the basic level.
“As a nation we are going to pay a heavy price for what we have done to basic education…it’s just because at that level the only thing that is the key is, are the teachers willing to do what they are paid to do?” he told Kojo Yankson on the Super Morning Show on Joy FM, Wednesday.
Taking such a drastic decision as sacking all the teachers should come at no political cost to the government, he note, but advised that “such revolutionary methods should be done early in the term of a government because there will be some raffles that you will have to do.”
He said, “Unless something is done, we as a nation are going to destroy ourselves with what is happening in basic schools, because if you take a child to school for nine years and he comes out as functionally illiterate, he doesn’t want to go farm anymore; he wants to go to the city and when he comes there is no job, and you know what follows, we are in a very serious national crisis.”
Prof. Stephen Adei
He said about 66% of pupils who finish basic education in Ghana lack the literacy necessary for coping with everyday situations which he noted, sharply contrasts with the situation in neighbouring countries –Togo and Cote d’Ivoire.
“The child who goes to school for 3-4 years in Togo and Ivory Coast speaks French and writes French [but] our people finish Junior High School and 66%of them are functionally illiterate and we sit down there and we have Ministry of Education [and] we have 400 Directors of Education in Ghana and they are only [turning] our children [into] criminals.”
He was resolute in his advise to the government to “sack all of them; all the teachers, sack them” and pay them three months salary so they will not hit the streets to demand a severance package.
“Then ask teachers to apply to become head teachers and when they apply pay them well, at least 50% above teachers and then give them the authority to recruit teachers and pay them through head teachers and that the head teacher who doesn’t deliver results would lose their jobs. And then you will see that, without [paying] a pesewa more, the education system will jump to the roof.”
Prof. Adei who jointly runs the Ghana Christian High School with his wife described as “horrendous”, the current situation where teachers are being paid well yet, they are not putting in the much-needed effort to improve education at the basic level.
“At this moment what is happening at the public basic schools is horrendous. We have at this stage more trained teachers, better-paid teachers than any time in the life of our nation but they have decided not to teach.”
He wants “a firm action” to be taken to correct “the mess in there” which must include breaking up the GES and decentralising it.
“At this moment I think that first we need to break up the Ghana Education Service and decentralize it. Let the churches [run schools] and local government schools as we had in the beginning. We must empower head teachers with the authority to discipline and dismiss teachers.”