|The Importance of Posting in Becoming a Teacher in Ghana (CIE, 2000, 46 p.)|
|Chapter 4: The posting system: rational system or ''Unsavoury ritual''?|
Theoretically, if a newly trained teacher does not accept a posting, an embargo should be put on their salary and they should not be re-employed by the state system, but in practice the system has not been enforced for several years. This leads to widespread cynicism and a sense of powerlessness about the system at all levels as is reflected in the following comment from a District Director:
According to the regulations we are working on now, when the new teacher has been posted to a district, he is bound to be there for 4 years. Sometimes he does not report at all. But he goes to another district and he gets away with it. A teacher posted to my district is now teaching at W. [an urban district] and for the time being he is working there and I'm sure he will get everything normalised. [Interview with a District Director in Central Region]
Traditionally in Ghana, to ensure that teachers who had been trained served for a minimum period of years wherever they were posted, they were given a bond to sign. That bond, when it was first introduced, was a significant amount of money and therefore carried a considerable sanction, but over time, particularly due to inflation, the amount became negligible:
...a few years ago it was as low as 24000 Cedis7, which was less than two months of a teacher's salary at the time and teachers weren't afraid to sign a bond. [Interview with a District Director in Central Region]
7 £1 = 4000 cedis at that date.
Then, four years ago, due to the under-supply of teachers, a decision was taken to abolish the bonds that in hindsight seems deeply problematic, given the mixed messages it sends; you must obey the rule, but it will not be enforced:
For the past 4 years, bonds have not been in the system, but colleges were duplicating old ones and giving them to trainees even though they know it isn't real. Enforcement is the problem. If the district doesn't report, you wouldn't know so it's up to the district directors to report to Manpower. [Interview with a National Officer of Teacher Education Division, GES]
The perception from the central administration of GES, as is revealed in the quotation above, seems to be that the problem lies with the districts; this is a raw nerve given that Ghana is currently, theoretically at least, working towards the process of decentralising education administration. As one would expect, the perception at the district level is quite different:
We send the report about them breaking the bond and nothing is done. Maybe he's a son or relative of government officials and the government is not even-handed. [Interview with a Circuit Supervisor in Central Region]
Mankoe and Maynes (1994) studied the potential for the policy of decentralisation in Ghana to be successful and in their survey results, they highlighted the low "actual" control that schools, communities and districts have over posting, with the high "preferred" control. This would seem to offer a way forward given the apparent failure of the centralised system to develop an effective and fair system. Recently, there have been discussions and projected policy changes, envisaging a system of sponsorship whereby individuals considering training would have to seek "sponsorship" from the district assembly where they would later teach. However, this policy, due to be implemented in 1999 has been shelved until 2000 or later.