Founder of the Salt and Light Ministries says the successes President John Mahama claims to have chalked in the education sector during his tenure is quite tenuous.
According to Dr Joyce Aryee, it was unfortunate for the president to beat his chest and say more teachers have been trained when some teachers have consistently complained about not being posted.
Speaking on Joy FM a day after president Mahama delivered his final state of the Nation Address, Dr Aryee said “For me, it was almost like a slap in the face because teachers have been complaining that they have not been posted.
“So to say that you’ve trained so many when they have not been posted to do their work, it is almost like doing a campaign.”
President Mahama in his final address to Parliament on Thursday said Ghana’s educational sector had witnessed a significant improvement under his stewardship. Apart from the improvement in infrastructure, the president said “Teachers are more available and are more evenly distributed than in the past. Teacher absenteeism is down from 27% to below 9%. This has led to more engagement hours between teachers and students.”
But the former CEO of the Ghana Chamber of Mines believes Ghana has more serious issues that need to be considered in the education sector.
For her, the entire nation’s future depends on how it is able to “raise our children, qualitatively and quantitatively. How we need to raise them in terms of critical thinking. “So even the quality of teachers is so important,” she added.
For the textbooks President Mahama says the schools have been provided with, Dr Aryee said the provision of books is one thing, but the content is what matters. “He did say that people have textbooks, which is fine, but again one would need to go through the textbooks and see whether they are relevant for our time.”
Dr Aryee, however, commended the president for his bravery.
She described the president’s defeat as a very big blow, adding, “this loss of election has been a big blow. Other presidents as we have known from Jerry John Rawlings to Kufuor have left after serving the eight years where they couldn’t have come to serve anymore.
“It is not easy to be remembered as the one-term president. I think he was brave, he spoke well under the circumstances.”
Dr Aryee also praised the Minority in Parliament for not heckling the president as is the norm during his presentations in the House. Every victor has to be magnanimous, you don’t beat someone who has already fallen so I think parliament behaved well, she said.