The Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Eric Kwakye Darfour, has commended the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) for assisting in the formulation and implementation of government policies in education which have largely contributed to the direction of education in the country.
He stated that the conditions of service for teachers some decades ago were demotivating, but with the consistent effort of GNAT and the listening ears of governments over the years, there had been improvement in the conditions, a situation which was making for effective teaching and learning.
The Regional Minister made the commendation when he addressed GNAT’s Eastern Regional fifth Quadrennial and 52nd regional delegates conference in Koforidua.
The conference was on the theme: “Transforming societies through quality education, the Agenda 2030: Political will for funding quality public education in Ghana.’’
He used the occasion to inaugurate the GH¢1.6 million hostel facility for the association in Koforidua.
Mr Darfour said the knowledge and skills of teachers were the most important tools required for enhancing quality education and, therefore, urged teachers to upgrade themselves to be more conversant with issues related to their areas of study, as well as learn new methods of teaching to help enhance their performance in the classroom.
Mr Darfour said in a few weeks, the government would kick-start the free SHS programme, the flagship programme the government was determined to implement.
He said one of the issues that posed a challenge to enrolment at the basic level of education in the Eastern Region had to do with galamsey and child labour.
The minister said the President had resolved to end illegal mining activities in the country and appealed to teachers to help by educating their pupils and students on the dangers and hazards such activities posed to them and the need for them to focus on their education, since it was the only key by which they could develop.
Funding and priorities
The Vice Chancellor of the Koforidua Technical University, Prof. Mrs Smile Dzisi, noted that inadequate funding had been a major contributor to the current circumstances but the failure to set priorities in the face of limited resources was perhaps the biggest challenge.
She said in spite of our political independence, the colonial mentality about the various disciplines, jobs and means of livelihood had not changed much.
“We consider some vocations as demeaning” she said, and urged educators, policy makers, industry players, parents, students and other stakeholders to change their attitude towards TVET to get employable skills.