Vice President urges teachers to be innovative.
The Vice President, Paa Kwasi Amissah-Arthur has called on teachers not only to rely on what government can do but also on how they can empower themselves through knowledge acquisition and adoption of new and innovative approaches that will make a difference in schools.
Government he said will continue to make education a priority in Ghana’s development agenda by continuing to allocate over 30% of the national budget to support schools, pupils, students, teachers and education workers.
Speaking at the 21st National Best Teacher and 1st National Best school awards ceremony held in Tamale, Mr. Amissah Arthur said government is delighted that teacher presence in school has slightly improved from 89% last year to over 90% in the 2014/2015 academic year.
Explaining the inclusion of best national school awards, the Vice president said the goal was to improve collaboration of efforts between students and to create a better learning environment in schools.
Statistics from the ministry of education indicate that at the pre-tertiary level there are 2,960 kindergartens, 21,309 primary schools and 138,040 junior high schools and 1049 senior high schools. Enrollment at the basic level rose to over 7.7 million while at the secondary level it stood fell slightly below 850,000. The total number of teachers and educational workers at the pre-tertiary level stood at over 275 000.
“Improving the management and administration of education service delivery at all level is necessary to improve quality and it is a priority for the NDC government,” Mr Amissah-Arthur stated.
He reiterated the government’s effort to remove schools under trees and accelerate the construction of new community senior high schools across the country.
125 existing low performing SHS Mr Amissah-Arthur said have been selected under the government secondary education improvement project and are receiving quality improvement with focus in Mathematics and Science to resolve the long standing underperformance in these subjects. A total 1250 heads of institutions and teachers are benefiting from the project, the vice president added. About 40,000 untrained teachers have been trained.
Outstanding issues with the teachers union in Ghana
The vice said there are a number of outstanding unresolved issues with the teachers union and the Ghana education services. The issues included payment of arrears, annual incremental credit, vehicle maintenance allowance and transfer grants.
The ministries of finance, education, employment and labour relations, and the fare wages and salary commission as well as the audit services are currently discussing it with a view removing the bottle necks on the issues, Mr Amissah-Arthur assured teacher unions. Government in its commitment to resolving the issue released 4.5 million Ghana cedis for the payment of teacher vehicle maintenance allowance and transfer grants.
Polytechnics conversion is on course
Government program to convert polytechnics to technical universities, established two new universities and expand infrastructure and other facilities in existing universities is on course in spite of skepticisms the vice president added.
No more best teacher
In all 4,12 educational institutions were awarded in various categories at the 21st National Best Teacher and 1st National Best school awards ceremony.
The institutions include kindergarten, primary, second cycle, senior high and pre-technical. Individuals including foreign volunteers in the educational sector were also awarded for their efforts in supporting education in Ghana.Representatives of the various institutions took certificates as their awards while distinguished individual teachers and some national service personnel received LPG cylinders, home theaters among others as their prizes.
Unlike previous years when a best teacher was awarded; this year’s awards focused on institutions.
Ul-Kpong junior High school in Jirapa in the Sissala East in the upper West region, St. Joseph’s R/ JHS in Obuasi in Ashanti region and Allengenzule SHS in the West region were awarded as the best HIV/AIDS alert schools in the country.
The 21st national best teacher and 1st edition of the national best school awards coincided with World teachers’ day which falls every October 5 each year. The Theme for this year’s celebration is ‘Empowering Teachers; building sustainable society’.
In the northern region, St. Charles Senior High School (SHS) was adjudged the best. The Islamic Senior High School was judged the best improved West African Senior Secondary and best science school.