404 Schools In Northern Region Without Teachers

Mr Paul Apanga, Northern Regional Director of Education has indicated that the region had 404 schools without teachers, and these had compounded the educational problems in the area. He said despite some empty classrooms, there were over 1,000 excess teachers in the Tamale Metropolis and the Sagnarigu district and noted that such excess teachers had created vacant classrooms in many schools and would therefore redeploy the excess teachers to fill the classrooms. Mr. Apanga was speaking to the Ghana News Agency in Tamale on Friday on the sidelines of a regional policy dialogue organised by ActionAid Ghana (AAG), an advocacy non-governmental organization operating in the country. The forum was meant to identify weaknesses in development projects and to plan on how to chart a new course or paradigm that would produce results for the people especially the poor and the disadvantaged in society. Mr Apanga said the Tamale Metropolis had 517 excess teachers while the Sagnarigu district had 608 excess teachers and that the Business Secondary School (BISCO) alone had 13 excess teachers and were being redeployed. He said the GES in the region had embarked on a rationalisation exercise to get rid of the extra teachers that were in the cities especially the Tamale Metro and the Sagnarigu district and that, those excess teachers would be transferred to deprived and underserved communities while others would be posted to the 404 schools that were without teachers. When asked about his dual role as Northern and Upper East Regional director, Mr Apanga explained that he was transferred from the Upper East to the Northern Region in September 2012 and had since been acting for the Upper East because no one had taken over that position. Mr Sumaila Abdul-Rahaman, Country Director of AAG observed that the consistent failures on various policies in the country was because of their over dependence on inflows from external sources stressing that many Assemblies� medium terms have failed because of such problems. He said it was time Assemblies in Ghana borrowed laudable policies from Burkina Faso to solve local problems saying, �In Burkina Faso, dug outs that are created as a result of road constructions are used to construct dams for irrigation�. The Country Director explained that such dams were used to produce vegetables such as tomatoes, onions and livestock and exported to Ghana stressing that Ghana could have done better if its arable lands and the conducive weather conditions were utilized judiciously. Mr Abdul-Rahaman said his areas of priority as a new director of AAG would be in food security, women rights and women smallholder farmers to promote their access to lands to produce food to liberate them economically. Alhaji Abdul-Basit Fuseini, Deputy Northern Regional Minister underscored the importance of the regional policy dialogue and indicated that the region had huge potentials but that those potentials had been derailed by negative publicities. He urged the people in the region to think collectively to find solutions that would tackle developmental and educational problems confronting the area noting that the region lost its position as the enviable producer of rice. Mr Peter Claver Anyeember, Northern Regional Monitoring and Evaluation Officer of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture decried the low ratio of extension officers in the region stressing that agriculture was hugely affected because new methods of farming could not be properly transferred to farmers. He said in 2014, there were estimated 324,551 farmers in the region with only 237 extension officers explaining that each district was supposed to have 32 extension officers but in some cases, only two extension officers could be found in a district in the region.