The Ghana Education Service (GES) has revised its promotion processes, with the aim to improve efficiency and effectiveness.
The management of the GES said all staff of the service due for promotion would now undergo an aptitude test for all ranks from Principal Superintendent to Deputy Director.
“Officers who get promoted to deputy directorship shall be expected to attend face-to-face interviews if they desire to become heads of schools or any other position that may require interviewing,” the Director-General of the GES, Professor Opoku-Amankwa, told the Daily Graphic in an interview in Accra yesterday.
He said the review had been done after extensive deliberations and consultations with key stakeholders, with the approval of the GES Council and in accordance with regulations of the Public Services Commission (PSC).
Prof. Opoku-Amankwa said the new promotion process was being introduced for a good reason — to ensure that the about 35,000 GES staff who applied for promotion every year went through the process fairly, transparently and based on competence.
The switch to aptitude tests for promotion has been necessitated by the tonnes of petitions the GES receives every year from teachers alleging that the performance appraisals and interviews used for promotions are fraught with victimization and corruption.
Applicants for 2019
Last year, 47,323 applicants submitted documentation for promotion, the director-general disclosed, adding that the applicants were yet to attend interviews in that regard.
He gave the breakdown as follows: 4,413 for the rank of Deputy Director, 10,724 for Assistant Director I, 26,876 for Assistant Director II, 3,816 for Principal Superintendent, while 1,494 applied for non-teaching ranks.
He said every year, “the GES sets up about 150 panels across the country, with each panel having five members”.
Each panel interviewed eight people a day, according to PSC regulations, and they worked for three to six months to finish up all applicants, he added.
“Meanwhile, every year, the GES receives almost a thousand petitions on promotions, all leveled against GES staff in the district, regional and national headquarters, as well as interview panels across the country,” he said.
Prof. Opoku-Amankwa explained that the petitions included allegations of victimization and corruption, explaining that apart from the complaints, the process was tedious and expensive.
“Based on these and many other reasons, the GES management, in June last year, initiated the move to reform the promotion process within the confines of PSC guidelines.
“The details and input into the new process have been agreed on with teacher unions and accepted by the GES Council,” he added.
He said the management had done extensive education and sent out announcements on the new promotion process, “which have been received and accepted in good faith”.
He said the least opportunity he had with teachers, he touched on the subject, adding: “Recently, we did training for SHS core teachers and I used the opportunity of my visit to talk to them about the new promotion process and they agreed.”
The GES intended to do a roadshow from the first week of next month to educate and inform teachers on the details of the new process, he hinted.
“The areas where questions will be generated are the same areas they prepare on for the interviews and the proposed examination is between 45 and 60 minutes for each rank,” Prof. Opoku-Amankwa said.
Areas of aptitude test
The director-general said, for instance, that the aptitude test for those seeking promotion to the ranks of Principal Superintendent, Assistant Director I and II would cover knowledge of the ministry and the GES, school/classroom management, theories of learning, assessing and evaluation, contemporary issues in education, as well as current and general knowledge.
He said those applying for the rank of Deputy Director would, “in addition to the above, be tested in education administration and management”, explaining that those areas were the same as those used in promotion.
Prof. Opoku-Amankwa hinted that the examination was fixed for February 20 and 21 and that the results should be ready by the end of March this year.