|The Importance of Posting in Becoming a Teacher in Ghana (CIE, 2000, 46 p.)|
|Chapter 4: The posting system: rational system or ''Unsavoury ritual''?|
These quotations reveal a bureaucracy perceived to be in crisis, open to influence, unwilling to discipline, unable to pay on time, and carrying out practices that undermine professionalism; an open door waiting to be pushed by teachers driven to "deviance". The picture, however, is not entirely bleak and there are a number of positive signs of change. Perhaps the most interesting example of this is Ajumako district in Central Region. It is the 24th most deprived district in the country and for a long time has had a problem attracting and keeping teachers as most of its schools would be classified as rural and many are remote. Yet, Ajumako gives the strong impression of district-inspired progress and shows how the context can be changed without increased resources, but with a more proactive management culture.
Firstly, it provides a popular orientation programme for all newly posted and newly transferred teachers in the first term, which, among other things, introduces key District Officers and explains their roles to new teachers. Some other districts provide orientation, though in 1998 this provision was patchy in Central Region, and two other rural districts with problems in the retention of new staff, claimed financial restrictions had prevented them from doing so. Ajumako has also developed an "adopt a school" programme, which gives all members of the district office three schools that they should be in regular contact with to try and ensure that the district office is more responsive to school-level needs and problems. On entering the Director's office, one is immediately confronted by a detailed chart on the wall with pins for each vacancy in each school, giving a very clear public profile to the problems faced in the district, but also showing the up-to-date quality of information available in the office. The acting director is also very aware of what a strong disincentive the lack of further education opportunities in the rural areas is for newly posted teachers and he is in discussions with the Dean of the Faculty of Education at Cape Coast University in order to develop an outreach programme.
One of the strengths of the Ajumako approach is that it builds on the positive potential in the system and shows the potential for organisational renewal. It is worth restating that within the Ghana education system, with its negative socialisation process, the majority of teachers do still report to what are often very difficult postings, something that is discussed in greater detail in the next section. Similarly, the lack of support from and poor communication with some GES District and Regional Offices and National HQ, often put down to resource constraints, can be seen in a new light next to the example of Ajumako.