Globally, the problem of out-of-field teaching still persist despite the frantic efforts of policy makers to ensure that qualified teachers are placed to teach subjects and grade levels they have been trained to teach. Though statistics on the phenomenon remains scanty in Ghana, available evidence indicates that it accounts for the poor performance of students in Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) especially in rural areas. The purpose of this study, therefore, was to explore the lived experiences of out-of-field teachers in the Basic Schools in Ghana. Using the multiple case-study design, twelve (12) teachers were purposely sampled for the study. Both interview guide and observation schedules were used to collect data from the respondents. Data collected from the respondents were analysed into themes. The findings of the study revealed that the teachers found themselves teaching out-of-field as a result of policy directive and not their own volition. Most of them have, therefore, not adjusted well to the demands of the classroom. They struggle to prepare appropriate lesson notes, conduct assessment and manage their classrooms effectively. The study concludes that students’ performance in the rural parts of Ghana is likely to continue to dwindle unabated if policies that may limit its influence in the classroom are not pursued. The study, therefore, recommended that the Ministry of Education and its subsidiary agencies such as the Ghana Education Service should develop a policy framework to guide the recruitment and deployment of teachers. Such a policy should ensure that teachers are recruited based on their expertise and the availability space to teach in the schools.
Stephen Kwakye Apau, University of Education, Ghana