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GES, Director General, Dr Eric Nkansah

Educational administration simply means the operational process through which an educational institution is maintained in a good working condition.

The process of maximizing resources in a way that promotes effective development of human qualities and organizational functioning. It encompasses all those techniques and procedures that lead to operating and making the organization function at optimum capacity.

Educational administration includes functions like planning, financing, organizing, directing, supervising, inspecting and evaluating. Educational administration gets into the role of setting up of goals of education, review, feedback and evaluation.

Education management on the other hand is the function that coordinates and directs human resources to meet the goals and objectives of the institution by using available resources effectively.

Management looks into planning, staffing, recruiting, leading and controlling the organization to accomplish established goals. Deployment of human, financial, technological and natural resources form the core function of educational management.

Educational management entails carrying the responsibility for the proper functioning of a system in an educational institution in which others participate. In contrast, educational administration establishes policies that guide decision making, laws and regulations. It is more concerned with the formulation of broad objectives, plans and policies.

The two main pillars of any educational institution are educational administration and educational management. Without the proper functioning of these two functions, an institute would collapse. Hence it is important that both work in close tandem with each other. Successful operation of an educational institution depends entirely on its management and administrative system.

Educational Administration and Educational Management are all applied fields, they both originate from theories of Organizational and Business Management and Administration.

 Is the problem of Ghana Education Service Educational Management or Educational Administration?

To answer this question, we will have to assess the function and structure of Ghana Education Service to unravel the weakness in order to properly situate the problem.

GES is managed by its council, administered by the Director General through the headquarters secretariat, the regional secretariat, the district secretariat and various schools and offices scattered across every nook and cranny in Ghana.

It is arguably, the most organized structure with the highest number of personnel in Ghana.

The core function is to provide pre- tertiary education and ensure holistic education for all school going age children in Ghana

The key assessment of the GES role must be its effectiveness in relation to its core mandate and the efficiency of persons responsible for the deliverables, to wit, the Ghanaian student as a product of Ghana Education Service and the Teacher, delivering educational services should be our prime objective.

The product – the Ghanaian students are hailed all over the world for their high cognitive abilities and excellence in comparison with other children.

Teachings and learning in Ghana, from kindergarten to Senior high schools, as managed by Ghana Education Service is to be credited for this success.

Even though there are still a lot more ways to better it, various reforms over the years have ensured we maintained the standards of education for the Ghanaian child to become the benchmark anywhere they find themselves.

The product of Ghana’s education service is therefore good.

The Teacher – The teacher as the implementer of all GES tools, standards and mechanisms in delivering the outcomes (students), and based on the assessment of the product(students) as aforementioned, must be graded highly.

Ghana Education Service have the structure to monitor its teachers and ensure the child at the remotest part of the country gets the needed educational foundation.

With over 400,000 teachers and over 40,000 non-teaching staff, personnel are better monitored than a lot of smaller public institutions in Ghana.

By 7 AM every morning, almost all public schools in Ghana will be opened for students across the country.

Personnel Absenteeism is better than most public institutions including the Parliament of Ghana.

This has been a constant function of its Regional Directors, District Directors, School Improvement Support Officers (formerly, circuit supervisors), headmasters and teachers scattered all over the country.

From the analysis of the product and the Teacher, the problem of Ghana Education Service cannot be educational administration.

We have qualified teachers who have risen through the ranks and understand educational delivery as Directors, Supervisors and Headmasters who are directly involved in educational administration to ensure this happens.

 What then is the problem?

The problem of Ghana education service is EDUCATIONAL MANAGEMENT

The function that coordinates and directs the human resources to meet the goals and objectives of the institution by using the available resources effectively.

Broad planning, staffing, recruiting, motivation, leading and controlling the organization to accomplish the goal. Deployment of human, financial and technological resources form the core function of educational management.

Ensuring staff carries an image about themselves that commands confidence, building institutional reputation and ensuring relevance is a function of educational management.

Who then qualifies to manage?

The notion that one requires a professional knowledge in a field to be able to manage is part of revolutionist theory. Many institutions have this axiom and have adhered to it.

The upward progression and succession in structured organizations, especially in the public sector, set’s rules to jealously guard this tradition to satisfy the axiom of professional knowledge requirement and also to protect seniority as well as preventing truncation of succession.

Notwithstanding, data has shown that, professional knowledge in particular fields have turned to become good managers of their fields.

There is another school of thought that strongly opines that management is a skill that is innate or acquired through mastery of practice and experience. This school of thought removes the barriers of professional knowledge as the sole requirements for managers.

Modern management theories support this argument. Indeed, available data around the world have shown that identifying the right skills set for management roles produces results than the traditional theorists approach.

Ghana Education Services have, since its inception, had directors with background as professional teachers, strictly following the axiom of professional knowledge requirement. We have jealously guarded this as a tradition.

The results are that, we have been able to manage teaching and instructional content to achieve some successes. This is purely an educational administration function which requires professional knowledge as indicated. The GES structure provides a host of technical people within the structure to ensure fluidity in educational administration.

The problem, however, goes beyond managing teaching and instruction. Its more about structural improvement, operational process enhancement, motivation, institutional image building and personnel self-confidence and actualization building.

This is a function of educational management

What must turn things around is to, perhaps, identify the skills set whether from within or without to steer GES towards the change we are looking for.


After critically examining the management history of Ghana Education Service and having been with the system for over ten years, i conclude on the following prescription.

  1. That the problem of Ghana Education Service is more educational management than educational administration.
  2. That GES has enough technical people to direct instructions and learning
  3. That GES has enough technical people who have risen through the ranks to oil the wheels of educational administration
  4. That professional knowledge should not be the only requirement for managers who handle Ghana Education Services.
  5. That Director-Generals must not be another “senior headmaster”, the role is different

Source: Kwaku Sakyi Richmond

(Organizational Health Consult and a Unionist)

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