SAVE-Ghana, a non-profit organisation has launched a web-based technology that would help check teacher absenteeism in 88 basic schools in the Upper West Region.
The technology was launched under a 15- month project: “Improving learning outcomes through ICT and evidence based approach (IMPROVE) in the Upper West Region,” with funding from “Making All Voices Count” another NGO.
Mr. Sule Tayiru Dintie, Executive Director of SAVE-Ghana, noted that the Education Sector Performance Review (ESPR 2008) report indicated that, Ghana remains the highest investor in the education sector in the sub-region; investing 30 per cent of its annual budget in the sector.“Notwithstanding the huge investment in the sector, poor learning outcomes continue to manifest in basic schools leading to poor quality basic education,” he said.
Mr. Dintie noted that, the work by SAVE-Ghana and other actors in the education sector have also incontrovertibly established the fact that, besides inadequate supply of teaching and learning resources, poor learning outcomes is largely caused by loss of valuable contact hours.
Another daunting challenge to poor learning outcomes, he mentioned, is the use of school children especially in deprived and rural schools for private labour, saying the practice is a violation of the labour laws of Ghana and the Ghana Education (GES) Service regulations.
He said it is for these reasons that SAVE-Ghana together with Making All Voices Count and the GES launched the innovative governance and accountability project.
Mr Dintie explained that the mobile and web-based application is expected to easily and efficiently facilitate communication between school governance structures.
He explained that all the 11 district education offices and the selected schools would be provided with computers and Android devices and networked with internet connectivity.
The SAVE-Ghana Executive Director said it would allow teachers the opportunity to login when they report to school and logout when leaving school.
He added that this information, which would also reflect on the computer at the district office, would enhance monitoring to eliminate teacher absenteeism.
Dr. Musheibu Mohammed Alfa, Deputy Regional Minister, said teacher absenteeism and teacher indiscipline are the greatest challenges affecting education performance in the region.
He expressed hope that the SAVE-Ghana intervention would be able to improve on monitoring of teachers to eliminate the teacher associated challenges.
Dr. Alfa said development in the 21st Century is driven by information and communication technology, adding that government recognizes this and has invested in the training of ICT teachers, distributed RLG Laptops to facilitate the teaching of the subject and provided community information centres to connect people living in rural areas to the rest of the world.
The Deputy Regional Minister expressed hope that these initiatives by government coupled with others such as the IMPROVE initiative, would help enhance the human resource base for the socio-economic development of the country.
Mr. Sachibu Mohammed, Making All Voices Count, Country Engagement Developer noted that, technology presents lots of advantages that are capable of addressing development challenges.
He said what is needed is collaboration and teamwork that would enable them to connect all the dots that would lead to effective and efficient use of technology to enhance development.
Mr. Moses Batong, the Project Manager, said the overall goal of the project was to improve monitoring and supervision, thereby improving learning outcomes in basic schools in the Region.