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90 percent of pupils in basic school cannot read and understand study reveals.


In a stunning revelation, a study conducted on Early Grade Reading and Maths Assessment EGRA/EMGA in Ghana found that nearly 90% of pupils in basic schools could not read and understand.

The study report which was conducted in 2013 and published in May 2014 sampled 7,923 pupils in English and Mathematics across the country.  It revealed that 4,148 representing 50.7% could not read at all, while 3,344 representing 43.8% could read some words without understanding.

This, Ghana Education Service( GES )said is alarming and all efforts must be put in place to reverse the trend. Out of the number, 3.7% the report said could read and understand and only 1.8% could read proficiently and understand.

The Northern Regional schools head Inspector, Alhaji Mohammed Issah Abah who disclosed this at the District Education Oversight Team (DEOT), meeting organized by Empowerment for Life(E4Life) in Sababo said, the situation could be worse in the local languages.

The meeting which brought together, circuit supervisors, teachers and their heads, traditional authorities and development partners was to deliberate on how best they can holistically address the dwindling performance of pupils in the Saboba district.image

Alhaji Issah Abah, who is a former DCE for the then Saboba-Ceherponi district said, he was not surprised about the poor performance of the pupils because the terminal exams are in English and if they cannot read there is no way they can pass.

To address these challenge, Alhaji Issah Abah said GES will enforce the language policy to ensure that teachers use local language to teach the children. “A lot of teachers shy away from using the mother tongue which is required in early grade; some of you think if you are teaching in the mother tongue you don’t know anything, is far from the truth,” the inspector said. “Just imagine the reasoning, your child first day in school and the teacher begins speaking English to the child, it does not make sense” the former Saboba-Chereponi DCE fumed.

He charged teachers to starting using the L1 to introduce English to the children from Kindergarten to primary one.

The school inspector also called for effective collaboration from all stakeholders to complement efforts. He called for radical and revolutionary measures in educational sector to reverse the dwindling performance at the basic schools in the country.

He revealed that, most teachers in the region don’t write lesson notes saying they write lesson notes in arrears, they don’t give adequate class exercises to the children and warn them to desist from it.

He accused circuit supervisors and head teachers of reneging on their responsibilities. My conclusion is that, both the circuit supervisor and the head teacher have compromised their positions and lack the moral courage to insist on the right things to be done.

On the recruitment of teachers, Alhaji Abah regretted the caliber of teachers currently in classrooms who are not demonstrating their ability to be teachers and that G.E.S is intensifying its monitory mechanism to ensure teachers deliver.

“In my monitoring, I realized that teacher presence, attendance, punctuality and regularity is zero in Saboba and the district education directorate must wake up and deal with the situation.”

Interference in G.E.S

The schools head inspector lamented what he called too much political, religious and traditional interference in the sector. According to him, the interference is inhibiting the work of district education directors in the region, He added that anytime a teacher misbehaves the directors can’t discipline him or her. He therefore appealed to directors to rather expose wayward teachers for the betterment of the future leaders.

Saboba GES director warn teachers

The Saboba District Director of Education, Reverend Georgina Anaaba has asked all head teachers and teachers who are not ready to work in the district to, as she put it, tell her “before fire catches them”.

She told teachers and heads as well circuit supervisors to blamed themselves for any disciplinary action against them should failed to honor their duties.

Reverend Georgina told members of District Education Oversight Team (DEOT) that the district though the district has failed in the past, it should be last and never again should it record abysmal performance in Basic Education Certificate Examination (B.E.C.E).

” I have the backing of assembly, my regional directorate, traditional authorities and the director general of education, so don’t blame me if I take action against a teacher who failed to perform his or her duty” Madam Georgina cautioned.

She was optimistic that, with the lessons learnt, teachers in the area will live up



Saboba DCE

The DCE for Saboba, Adolf Ali John, who is also the chairman of District Education Oversight Team told stakeholders that, the assembly will take a radical approach to ensure that there is an improvement in the sector.

Mr Adolf Ali said the assembly will focus its attention on best school awards to ensure that heads of various schools in the district live up to expectation. According to him, worse teachers were rather awarded in previous years which discourages teachers were given to rather worse teachers instead of Explained that, as a circuit supervisor

The E4Life technical advisor on education, Alhaji Alhassan Karim reiterated their commitment to supporting education in the area. He called on teachers to show commitment and dedication, saying it is key in improving performance.

He also called on the District Education Oversight Team (DEOT), to set up monitoring plans as well as targets for teachers, schools and the directorate. This, he said, will serve as a bench mark for everyone to work. The chief of Saboba warned teachers and parents to desist from reporting petty issues that rather affect education in the area to his palace.

He said he will not support any teacher who absents himself or herself from school without tangible reasons. He also warn parents not to report disciplinary actions that will propel their children intro better future.

The chief could not why a parent who cannot buy sandals, uniforms and learning materials for his or ward, would rather afford a mobile phone or allow the child to use a phone in school and when authorities seized it becomes a problem.

Blame game

Some junior high school teachers present how protest exonerated themselves from the poor performance and put the blame on primary school teachers accusing them of failing to build the pupils foundation before they migrant to JHS. “Some pupils can’t spell their names and even ABC writing is a problem for them; isn’t my duty to teach them that’ a JHS teacher lamented.



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