The Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, on Friday assured teachers that the Government is fully committed to their welfare and that it would avail itself for frank discussions on making improvements on their wellbeing.
He also urged corporate entities to support the Government’s efforts in empowering teachers to deliver quality learning outcomes, saying; “We cannot entrust our children in their care and then disregard the value of what they bring to bear on their lives”.
“We must resolve to rally behind our noble teachers. Let us empower them to bring true meaning to this challenging, yet noble business of developing human capacities, Ultimately, Ghana will be the winner,” the Vice President stated.
He said the Government had been able to offer admission to 180,000 youth, who had completed Junior High Schools, and also in the process of recruiting over 8,000 teachers to meet the teaching needs of the country.
Vice President Bawumia made these remarks at this year’s Ghana Teacher Prize Awards and 24th edition of the World Teachers Day held at the Presbyterian Boys Senior High School in Accra, on Friday.
The Ghana Teacher Prize 2018 is the maiden version as the rebranded National Best Teacher Awards, with an international standard as the new benchmark, and had the theme: “The Right to Education Means the Right to a Qualified Teacher”.
This year’s event was jointly organized by the National Teaching Council and the Ghana Education Service, which brought together key stakeholders in the education sector, including teachers, teacher unions, sponsors and students.
Vice President Bawumia said teachers were not only imparting knowledge, but also shaping the moral character of the people to becoming responsible citizens and assured of government’s commitment to safeguard their welfare.
“The government of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is fully committed to undertaking several reforms in our education sector to ensure that the education we’re providing for our children is fit for purpose and is able to deliver quality education outcomes,” the Vice President assured.
He acknowledged that no country could embark on the path of quality education for its citizens for national development without the teacher as an important part of that framework.
He said, upon the introduction of the Free SHS programme in September 2017 and the restoration of teacher trainee allowance, government started undertaking wide reforms to equip teachers with the right tools to ensure that they deliver quality learning outcomes in consonance with its mantra “Teacher First”.
The Vice President said the Government was upgrading all Colleges of Education to university colleges in collaboration with the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development, through the Transforming Teacher Education and Learning (T-TEL) programme.
“Our aim is to upgrade capacity and improve upon the quality of teacher training to position our teachers to be able to respond to our education need as a country,” he stated.
The Vice President made reference to the successful conduct of the maiden teacher licensure examination organised by the National Teaching Council (NTC), saying that, the exercise was aimed at ensuring that candidates acquire professional licences and prepare them to meet the demands of the National Teaching Standards of possessing the minimum knowledge, skills, value and attitudes necessary to deliver effective learning outcomes.
“Government is aware that no matter its best intention, the double track system will not be successfully executed and produce the desired results without the teacher.
“We have had meaningful engagements with the various teacher unions on the double track system, in all these engagements, the interest of the teacher has been primary,” Dr Bawumia emphasised.
Mr Nicolas Mawunyo Gborse, an English and History Tutor at the Bishop Herman College, Kpando, in the Volta Region was adjudged Ghana’s Most Outstanding Teacher.
He received a three-bedroom house worth GH¢ 180,000, GH¢ 500,000 life insurance package from SIC life and a certificate.
Ms Augusta Lartey-Young, an English Tutor at the Presbyterian Boys Senior High School, Legon, in the Greater Accra Region was the First Runner-Up and took home a 4x4 Pick-Up worth GH¢ 130,000 and GH¢ 300,000 life insurance package and a certificate, while Mr Owusu Antepim, a Mathematics Tutor at Nsutaman Catholic Senior High School in the Ashanti Region was the Second Runner-Up and went with a saloon car, GH¢ 200,000 life insurance package and a certificate.
In all, 13 awards were given to teachers and non-teaching staff from the basic to the second cycle educational institutions, both public and private institutions, for their meritorious contribution to national development.
The award winners took home assorted items including refrigerators, laptops, flat screen televisions, cash prizes and certificates.