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Study Leave with Pay: Things You Must Know

The study leave with pay policy is an initiative by the government of Ghana, through the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service, designed to allow in-service teachers and staff to enhance their knowledge, skills, and competencies while on the job.

This policy allows in-service teachers and staff to pursue degree programs while still receiving their full salary.

However, the policy has faced numerous challenges over the years, and its relevance is now being called into question due to ongoing educational reforms.

In this article, we will explore the history of the study leave with pay policy, eligibility, duration, its current challenges, and the need for reforms to ensure its continued effectiveness in the future.

History of the Study Leave with Pay Policy

The study leave with pay policy was first introduced in Ghana in 1957, shortly after the country gained independence.

The policy was designed to provide opportunities for teachers to pursue further education and training while still on the job.

This was seen as a way to improve the country’s education quality and build a strong cadre of well-trained teachers.

Under the policy, teachers are granted leave from their regular duties to pursue degree programs in critical subjects such as mathematics, science, and English.

They receive their full salary during this period and are required to return to their posts upon completion of their studies.

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The policy has been widely successful over the years, with many teachers taking advantage of the opportunity to upgrade their skills and knowledge.

This has undoubtedly led to improvements in teaching quality and student outcomes, as well as increased job satisfaction and career advancement opportunities for teachers.

Eligibility for Study Leave with Pay in Ghana

To be eligible for study leave with pay in Ghana, a public servant must have served for a minimum of three years and must have been offered admission into a recognized institution of higher learning.

The applicant must also demonstrate how the proposed course of study will benefit their work and the public service as a whole.

Duration of Study Leave with Pay in Ghana

The duration of study leave with pay in Ghana varies depending on the level of study.

For undergraduate studies, the leave can be up to four years, while for postgraduate studies, it can be up to three years.

In exceptional cases, the leave can be extended by an additional year.

Challenges Facing the Policy

Despite its success, the study leave with pay policy has faced numerous challenges over the years.

One of the biggest challenges has been administrative issues related to the application and approval process.

Some teachers have reported delays and inconsistencies in the approval process, which led to disruptions in their studies.

Another challenge has been the limited availability of degree programs in critical subjects.

Some teachers have reported difficulty finding suitable programs that meet the requirements of the policy, which limited their opportunities for further education.

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Perhaps the biggest challenge facing the policy today is the ongoing educational reforms in Ghana.

These reforms include changes to the minimum qualification for teaching in pre-tertiary schools, which now require a degree certificate.

Additionally, the upgrading of colleges of education to first degree-awarding institutions means that shortly, all teachers will hold degree certificates.

These changes raise questions about the continued relevance of the study leave with pay policy, which is primarily granted to those pursuing their first degree.

If all teachers are required to hold a degree certificate, then the policy may become redundant.

The Need for Reforms

Given these challenges, it is clear that the study leave with pay policy needs to be reformed to ensure its continued effectiveness in the future.

This will require a collaborative effort from the government, allied institutions, civil society organizations (CSOs), non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in education, teachers, and teacher unions.

One key reform that should be considered is expanding the policy to accommodate second-degree certificate programs.

This would ensure that teachers who have already obtained a first degree can continue to upgrade their skills and knowledge.

It would also make the policy more relevant in light of the ongoing educational reforms.

Another reform that should be considered is streamlining the application and approval process for the policy.

This would help to reduce delays and inconsistencies and ensure that teachers can take advantage of the opportunity to pursue further education without disruptions.

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