17 December 2012

Ghana: Teachers Must Take Centre Stage in Educational Setup - Retired Educationist

Effiduase-Ash — FORMER ASHANTI Regional Director of the Ghana Education Service (GES), Mr. J.K. Onyinah has said the teacher, around whom the wheel of education revolves, should take centre stage, especially now that education has become a key issue in Ghanaian politics.

Delivering a key note address at an award ceremony organized by the Sekyere East District Directorate of Ghana Education Service, Mr. Onyinah noted that in taking a stand for the teacher, attention should be paid to their professional development.

He stressed that the success of our education system depends to a large extent on the professional competence, commitment and fair distribution of teachers, and called for attention to be paid to their professional development, deployment and retention.

"Teachers should be empowered with the necessary facilities to enhance their performance and thereby help them achieve self-esteem", the retired educationist suggested.

According to him, teaching goes beyond imparting knowledge to school children, emphasizing that it involves educating the whole human person.

Mr. Onyinah explained the role teachers play in social, economic and political development in the country, and said the profession helps children to acquire knowledge and to develop their mental abilities, saying the teacher is not a mere instructor but an educator, who is concerned with the integral human formation.

The former regional director also bemoaned the situation in the country, where some schools in the urban centres were over-staffed, while those in the rural areas were under staffed and called for immediate action to correct the situation.

Ms. Augusta Akyaa Sarpong, the district director of education commended successive government for ensuring quality education. She mentioned some of the interventions as supply of textbooks, capitation Grants, training of teachers, school feeding and supply of uniforms and exercise books.

She was, however, quick to add that her outfit is saddled with some challenges, such as accommodation for teachers and inadequate supply of textbooks.

The education director commended the teachers for the efforts they put in the training and upbringing of our country's future manpower resources.

Ms. Sarpong said that the accommodation problem, especially in the deprived communities, has compelled most of the teachers to commute from Asokore and Effiduase to their duty posts.

She also disclosed that the district recorded 42.9% in the 2012 BECE as against 53.5% in the 2011. "It was as a result of this that compelled directorate and other stake-holders to institute the best teacher/worker awards," Ms. Sarpong disclosed.

About 58 teachers and educational workers were given prizes for their exceptional performance and received various household items ranging from TV sets, refrigerators, gas cookers and cylinders, ceiling fan and roofing sheet as their prize.

The awards were in 11 categories, which included basic school heads, primary-general, KG teachers/attendants, JHS-general and best performing schools. The rest were science/maths, SHS-general, vocational/technology, non-teaching staff, French and longest serving staff.

The award winners were assessed in the area of their knowledge on educational issues, their relationship with members of the community as well as condcut and exhibition of competency in area of delivery as a professional teacher, and must have served in the district for at least 5 years.

Assessment of awardees also bordered on effective lesson notes output of work, methods and techniques of teaching, questioning skills and community consensus.

Nsutem Presby Primary/DA JHS was adjudged the best performing school and took home a 21-inch colour television as their prize, while Mr. Kuley Kusasi, head of security at the district education office received one packet of roofing sheets for his long service.

Rev. S.A. Amankwa, a retired educationist, who chaired the function, expressed optimism that the award will motivate and boost the morale of the staff to give up their best.

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