According to a former Education Minister, the John Mahama administration reduced the level of teacher absenteeism at the basic and second cycle institutions from 27 per cent to at least 7 per cent in the country.
The Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa disclosed the achievement in an interview with TV 3’s Abena Tabi on The Key Points show monitored by Georgeweb.org on August 29.
Speaking in the interview the former Education Minister said the flagbearer for the opposition NDC during his term of office until the NPP government came into power removed 65 per cent of schools that were under trees.
Mr Ablakwa stressed that with this and other investment by the Mahama led government in the education sector, the country’s best Basic Education Certificate Examination as well as West African Senior Schools Certificate Examinations (WASSCE), results was during the NDC administration.
Commenting on teacher absenteeism, the North Tongu MP noted the NDC came to meet it at 27 per cent but after engagement with teacher unions, other stakeholders in the education sector and doing things right, the Mahama administration by the end of its four years had reduced teacher absenteeism from the disturbing 27 per cent to 7 per cent.
Mr Samuel Okudzeto furthered that the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) during their term of office eliminated about 4,000 schools under trees, approximately 65 per cent which was across the country.
“You take the nature of our rural schools. We counted not less than 4000 schools under trees [and] you are competing with students in Singapore, students in Finland and these are yardsticks. If you look at their class environment it is friendly, the child is looking forward to the next day of school and so we decided to embark on a programme which we call Elimination of Schools Under Trees.”, he told host Abena Tabi.
According to Okudzeto, the Republic of Ghana was for four consecutive years, pronounced the best WASSCE performing country as a result of the Mahama administration investment and proper management.
But the Deputy Education Minister and Member of Parliament for the Bosomtwe Constituency, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum reacting to Okudzeto’s comments said the Mahama NDC only tackled the symptoms of the problem in the education sector and ignored the real problem.
The teaching Minister told Mr Ablwakwa “If you solve teacher absenteeism and not take a look at the school leadership and accountability you are not going to get anywhere.
According to the Bosomtwe MP, matters concerning education have to be tackled intelligently, he added that “you may end up solving the symptoms of the problem and not the actual problem itself.”