The Ghana Education Service (GES) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) to employ 7,730 young people as non-teaching staff in selected senior high schools (SHSs).
The scheme, known as the Schools Support Programme, is to replace ageing cooks, pantry hands, labourers, security assistants and other non-teaching staff of SHSs to help boost the free SHS programme.
The employees will be engaged for two years in the initial stage, after which, based on available permanent job opportunities and performance, some will be absorbed permanently into the GES.
Those engaged will be paid GH¢350 a month, to be funded from the five per cent Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) allocation to the YEA.
The Director-General of the GES, Professor Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa, signed the MoU on behalf of the service, while the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the YEA, Mr Justice Kodua Frimpong, signed on behalf of the agency.
Prof. Opoku-Amankwa explained that after the contract period, the employees could be engaged permanently based on their performance and the job opportunities available.
He said media advertisements for the recruitment exercise would be ready by Thursday and encouraged young people between 18 and 35 years who had completed at least junior high school to take advantage of the programme.
“The onset of the free SHS increased demand for both teaching and non-teaching staff to facilitate the effective implementation of the policy,” he said.Prof. Opoku-Amankwa said the GES had already employed 1,500 non-teaching staff and 8,000 teachers, but with the introduction of the double-track system, there was more demand for non-teaching staff.
He described the initiative as a school-based support programme aimed at ensuring the health and safety of the students and staff of the various SHSs in the country.
He mentioned another objective of the programme as creating a supportive and orderly environment for SHS educational activities, as well as providing excellent nutritional service for staff and students.
Another objective, he said, was the creation of decent employment opportunities for young Ghanaians to augment the staff strength of the current security and kitchen staff of SHSs.
“We also want to create opportunities for the youth to learn and continue their education, while participating in the programme,” he said.
For his part, Mr Frimpong said the initiative was in line with the mandate and operations of the agency.
“The YEA was established under the Youth Employment Act, 2015 (Act 887) to empower young people to contribute meaningfully to socio-economic and sustainable development programmes,” he said.
In addition, he said, it was also the objective of the agency to support the youth between 18 and 35 years through skills training and internship modules.