Reasons why Public Schools perform poorly as against Private Schools in Ghana.
This conversation usually crops up every year especially when BECE results are released and the general public takes a bite of the issues presented.
This is particularly concerned with the continuous undesirable performances recorded by Public Basic Schools which smears disgrace, shame and guilt on the faces of everyone involved in the Teaching and learning cycle in our public schools.
THE PARENTS To start with, parents are indispensable stakeholders of the learning process whether overtly or covertly. Enough evidence has revealed that children who have the luxury of parental attention( financialy, emotionaly, psychologicaly etc) turn to excel academically as compared to the ones who doesn’t get this privilege. It is also worth noting that, Parents mostly give their wards education attention when there is opportunity for them to invest directly. Unfortunately, parents who have their wards in public schools are normally the financially constraint ones. This inhibits the discharge of their responsibilities– whilst others deliberately refuse to cater for their children’s needs with the excuse that, “..the government said free education…” . Asking these parents to buy common pen is a taboo because there’s “govt”.
THE TEACHERS We all acknowledge the impact of the media, the environment and other factors on learning in contemporary times but let’s shine the torch on one most cardinal person who is the pivot on which ALL teaching and learning rotates.
Being blunt, honest, straightforward and saying it as it’s here in Ghana is sometimes met with insults, “too-knowing” tags, excuses and blame games. But that can’t shy us away from the truth.
Now, lets be honest, can we say, majority of the teachers we have in our classrooms today are really doing their best? Well, your response may depend on where you stand. You would be shocked when you get to most rural areas and see top alcohol consumers being teachers. Teachers top the list when it comes to public sector workers in our villages. It’s always so disgracing. Some even come to school drunk.
So the question, Are teachers really passionate about their profession like we used to have some years ago? Are teachers willing to take their children to the same schools they’re teaching?
Facts is, serving with and observing teachers both in rural and urban areas has revealed how lackadaisical some teachers can be. If you doubt this, take up the challenge and undertake a research.
It’s no news that teachers sometimes converge under trees discussing politics, football and sometimes even BETS when the bell has been rang for break-over. Teacher absenteeism is still a problem despite draconian measures put in place to check it. SOME teachers still absent themselves in a disguised way. Disguised in a sense that, some just go to class and heap notes on the kids to keep them occupied whilst they rest. They pretend to be teaching and the children pretend to be learning. Nonetheless, occupying kids with notes isn’t a bad practice but must it replace our main duties?
HEADS Any Headteacher who tries to stamp out all these unprofessionalities is seen as, “too strict” and some are even villify and hate him in the community. Most Headteachers, not wanting to be given bad names, keep mute whilst these practices go on unabated.
DEDICATED TEACHERS Teachers who are dedicated, passionate and committed to their place of work are even ridiculed, they often receive the queston, “Why?, is the school yours or it’s your father’s property? “,” why are you doing as if you alone love the children ahh mma.” .
NEW TEACHERS For the new teachers who try to do the right things, you hear utterances like, ” ehh, you just came yesterday and you want to show that you’re hard working ehh “,” Here, we don’t do OUR things like that oo”. Utterances like this then quench the fire and exuberance and instill the laxity attitudes into these new folks.
DISPASSIONATE TEACHERS There was this incident where cries and wailing was heard from a classroom. Curiously, everyone wants to know whats going on. Then the teacher was heard angrily canning the children for not cleaning the blackboard before he entered. What is more troubling is his comment. ” foolish children, do you think this is the job I wanted to do? It’s not your fault, its due to circumstances. I’ll soon stop when I get a better job… ” . Really? This posture gives the impression that people are picking up the chalk just because they need jobs and not necessarily because they want to teach.
Lack of PROPER supervision has even compounded the whole issue.
Supervisors are only interested in checking notes and number of exercises as output of work conducted without emphasis on the scores and abilities of the pupils, the teacher’s attendance nor attitudes towards work.
In conclusion, teachers must up their games because not everyone in the country has the luxury to send their kids to private schools.
Supervisors MUST TRIPLE the sharpness of their eyes and be keen on teachers, pupil and parents if possible. Supervision plays a MAJOR of the distinction between PRIVATE EDUCATION and PUBLIC EDUCATION in Ghana.
Parents should be made to understand that, they’re inalienable when it comes to how children learn effectively.