The Ghana Education Service (GES) has promoted 18,475 teachers who sat for the maiden Promotion Aptitude Test on February 20 and 21, this year to various grades within the service.
The promoted teachers represent 61.0 per cent of the 30,280 who were shortlisted for the test.
In the Deputy Director grade, 2,336 candidates took the test, out of which 1,140, representing 48.8 per cent, were successful.
For the Assistant Director I grade, 7,170 took the test, with 4,709 (65.7 per cent) being successful, while 10,860 (59.5 per cent) out of the 18,238 candidates who wrote the promotion test for the grade of Assistant Director II passed.
The Director-General of the GES, Prof. Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa, said for the Principal Superintendent grade, 1,766 candidates, representing 69.6 per cent of the 2,536 who wrote the test, were successful.
“Formal promotion letters will be released in due course. Results for the non-teaching staff will also be released soon,” he said.
The new GES promotion process is a departure from the usual face-to-face interviews.
Applicants for the grades of Principal Superintendent to Deputy Director were required to write aptitude tests for promotion to the next level, while Deputy Directors who wished to become heads of schools or take up any other leadership role were to attend interviews, in addition to the aptitude test.
Every year, about 35,000 GES staff applied for promotion, and in undertaking the exercise, the GES set up about 150 panels across the country, with each panel of five members interviewing eight people a day, in accordance with Public Services Commission (PSC) regulations.
The panels worked for three to six months to attend to all applicants.
After the results were released, the GES management received countless petitions against some of its staff in the district, regional and headquarters.
Other petitions were directed against panel members.
The petitions included allegations of victimisation and corruption.
Based on these and other reasons, the GES management, in June last year, initiated action to reform the promotion process within the confines of the PSC guidelines.
Following the smooth conduct of the maiden promotion aptitude test, the Director-General expressed his appreciation to all staff of the service, particularly shortlisted applicants who took part in the exercise held at 35 centres across the country.
In a congratulatory message, he said the management of the GES was highly grateful to the leadership of pre-tertiary education unions for their support and immense contribution to the new promotion process.
“Management further expresses its gratitude to the consultants who conducted the examinations for the yeoman’s job,” he added.
“As a new programme, the process faced some initial challenges — some shortlisted candidates either did not receive their index numbers at all or received them late, some index numbers and names were mixed up, some candidates were assigned to wrong examination centres, etc. Majority of all such issues that came to our attention were referred to the consultants and resolved on or before the examination dates.
“There were also allegations of leak of examination papers reported in some sections of the media. In this age of advanced ICT knowledge and skills, the possibility of leaks before and during the examination cannot be completely ruled out,” he said.
However, Prof. Opoku-Amankwa said initial checks by the GES and reports from all the 35 examination centres across the country did not suggest that applicants had foreknowledge of the questions.
“No cases of malpractice have so far been reported. The general conduct of the applicants before, during and immediately after the examinations does not suggest any act of examination malpractice,” he said.
Indeed, the GES boss said, reports from almost all the centres showed that much as the teachers liked and praised the new process, they equally indicated that the questions were fairly above their expectation.
“Majority of the applicants sat through till the end of the paper and some suggested the need to review the time alloted in subsequent examinations. These initial commendations notwithstanding, management wishes to assure all, including the general public, that it has initiated investigations into the allegation of the leakage,” he said.