As part of efforts to improve the abysmal performance in Basic Education in the Talensi District of the Upper East region, the district assembly has signed a performance contract with the district education directorate to streamline the roles of the various stakeholders in education for an improvement.
The Talensi District Director of Education Joachim Faara bemoaned the abysmal performance recorded at the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) level describing it as an embarrassment and hence the need to employ new strategies to curb the situation.
Even though the district assembly, central government and donor partners have invested heavily in education in the district, the needed results have not still been achieved. The district scored 16% at the 2015 BECE. Whilst the best aggregate obtained in the district was 17, some schools scored as low as below 5% in 2015 in the area.
According to him, the contract agreement isn’t meant to “witch hunt” the various players in education in the district but rather to put up checks and as well be a reference for punitive actions in case of infractions.
Among the conditions for performance contained in the contract document is “To ensure that no school records zero percent in the Basic Certificate Examination results.”
In what appears to be a move to whip all actors in the value chain in line, the district assembly signed the performance agreement with the district director of education with specific action points whilst the director in turn signed a similar performance contract with frontline officers at the directorate and as well circuit supervisors who are in charge of selected schools in the district.
Explaining the rationale behind the decision to go into signing performance contract with the circuit supervisors and director of education, District Chief Executive for the area Hon. Edward Awenori said the assembly in partnership with the district education directorate have in the past employed various strategies to absorb the district off the quagmire of bad performance in education which has been a major issue confronting the district.
Among the measures adopted in the past include provision of teaching and learning materials, infrastructure, provision of furniture, investment in human resource and many others. Unfortunately, the performance isn’t improving as expected.
A bottle neck analysis of the issue revealed that among the major causes of the problem are the lack of commitment and discipline on the part of key players in the sector with teacher absenteeism topping the roll. The coming into force of the contract agreement would therefore remind the various stakeholders of their duties and be a ready document for reference in cases of contravention.
Circuit supervisors who signed the contract however called for the Head teachers of the various schools in the district to be roped into the contract.
According to them, head teachers of the schools are contributory factors to the poor performance the district has been bedeviled with. They pointed out that some head teachers do not monitor and instill discipline in the teachers as their immediate supervisors. They have therefore asked that head teachers be made to also sign a performance contract form.
The contract would expire in December 2016.