GES fleecing teacher applicants Dr Prince Armah, Executive Director of VIAM Africa

The Ghana Education Service (GES) is using
dubious and exploitative means to extort
money from graduates who want to gain
employment and contribute their quota to
national development as teachers, Dr Prince
Armah, Executive Director of VIAM Africa, has

The head of the education and social policy
think tank argues that “leaders do not care
about the welfare of unemployed graduates”
and wonders why energetic young people who
are now looking for jobs will be asked to pay
GHS62 to sit for an aptitude test before given
teaching jobs.
The test was conducted on Saturday May 24
for over 4,000 applicants. Some of the
applicants have indicated that the test
comprised West African Senior School
Certificate Examination (WASSCE) questions.
The question papers were, however, taken
back from them after the test, according to
Dr Armah said the explanation given by the
GES that the money was fees for the West
African Examination Council (WAEC) for the
cost of the examination is “absolutely
ridiculous and only a means for the GES to
make money by squeezing the little from the
unemployed graduates”.
He told Prince Minkah on Class91.3FM’s
Executive Breakfast Show that the action of
GES “has no theoretical and empirical basis”
because there is “huge evidence that a
teacher’s knowledge does not translate to him
being an effective teacher”.

“The guy has done a degree programme in
mathematics and you are measuring his ability
to teach with WASSCE? In education, writing
that exam will not determine teacher
effectiveness because it will not determine
whether the person is a good teacher or not,”
Dr Armah added.
“Have you not seen someone who is very
knowledgeable in a field but cannot teach to
your understanding? So, that tells you that
there is something that explains that.
Whenever a factor is not able to explain an
issue, then it means that there are other
factors that explain that issue. So, if there are
people who cannot teach regardless of having
knowledge, there are other factors and we said
that those factors include issues of self-
efficacy, understanding of pedagogical skills
and how to teach it. That is why you go and do
psychology of learning and human
development. …So, for me, you cannot tell me
that writing WASSCE is a better predictor of
teacher effectiveness,” he added.
To him, the action of the GES was an
impediment to access to employment in the
service and wants authorities to take action.
He has, therefore, written a petition to the
GES, Ministry of Education, and the
Presidency, to draw their attention to the
conduct of the GES and rectify what he sees as
an injustice.
Meanwhile, some of the graduates who
participated in the exams are demanding a
refund. One disgruntled applicant lamented
bitterly that he could not get the money to pay
so he could not write the test.
He narrated: “I also received a message from
the GES to write the exams at Cape Coast. To
be honest, I did not have that kind of money,
let alone the transportation fare from Sekondi
to Cape Coast. I have a Master’s Degree on top
of my education degree in Biology from the
University of Cape Coast and I cannot fathom
why I will be made to pay that amount. Even
private institutions do not collect any amount
before recruitment, how much more a public
institution. I did not make it, but I pray that
God helps me to make it [get the job]. I feed
on GHS3 or sometimes GHS5 a day and even
out of this sum, I buy credit to surf the
internet and apply for jobs. My parents have
done enough and I cannot overburden them. I
feel very frustrated because several attempts
to find myself busy by applying for voluntary
employment have never yielded any results,”
he bemoaned.


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