Mr Nicholas Mawunya Gborse of the Bishop Herman College, Kpando in the Volta Region Friday, won the Ghana Teacher Prize after being adjudged the Most Outstanding Teacher for 2018.
The award, presented during a durbar to mark National Teachers’ Day which also coincided with World Teachers’ Day, was on the theme “The right to education means the right to a qualified teacher”.
The Ghana Teacher Prize is a rebranded and upgraded version of the hitherto Best Teacher Awards held annually since 1995.
For his reward, Mr Gborse received a three-bedroom house valued at GH¢180,000, a laptop, educational materials and life insurance worth GH¢500,000 from headline sponsors of the awards, SIC Life Insurance.
The first runner-up, Mrs Augusta Lartey-Young of the Presbyterian Boys’ Senior High School (SHS), Accra, also received a 4 X 4 pick-up vehicle valued at GH¢130,000, a laptop, educational materials and insurance cover worth GH¢300,000.
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For his prize, the second runner-up, Mr Owusu Antepim of the Nsutaman Catholic SHS in the Ashanti Region, went home with a saloon car worth GH¢100,000, a laptop and educational materials.
Interspersing speeches at the durbar, attended by the Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, the Minister of Education, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, the Minister of State in charge of Tertiary Education, Professor Kwesi Yankah, and Deputy Ministers of Education responsible for SHS and TVET, as well as Primary and JHS respectively, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum and Mrs Barbara Asher Ayisi, was music and a cultural display by students from the West Africa SHS, Chemu SHS and the Methodist Day SHS from Tema.
Speaking on behalf of all 10 award winners, Mr Gborse said: “This year’s awards on the theme: “The right to education, the right to a qualified teacher”, will go down in history as one of the most rigorous and innovative ones after its rebranding and refocusing by the Ministry of Education and the National Teaching Council, the organisers of the awards.”
He added that “so rigorous were the processes that every awardee will have a story to tell.” He said the Free SHS policy was a bold dream by the government to transform not only the educational architecture of Ghana, but more importantly, to make the country a knowledge-based one in the 21st century.
Pausing during the delivery of his acceptance speech to either drink water or pour some on his head to cool himself down, Mr Gborse, who visibly could not contain his excitement about winning the Best Teacher Prize, stated: “So today, more than ever, thousands of Ghanaian children are enjoying fee-free education. This is indeed a dream your government is painting and soon when the gains of these huge investments are being reaped, history will judge favourably your vision of making secondary education cost-free.”
In an exclusive interview granted the Daily Graphic after his speech, Mr Gborse, 38, who has been teaching for over 10 years, said of his award that, “It is an honour to all teachers and I receive it on behalf of all teachers.
“The truth is that there are a lot more teachers out there who are unsung heroes, whose work is yet to be recognised. I appreciate them and they should continue doing the right thing, be hardworking, whatever they are doing they should continue doing it and at the right time God Himself will recognise them.”
Special awards were presented to seven other teachers and schools out of a total of 50 finalists in the contest for the maiden Ghana Teacher Prize.
The other awardees were Paulina Abaidoo, who won the Best Non-Teaching Staff Special School Award, Mr Felix Amoako Offei, who took the Best Non-Teaching Staff Award, SHS; and Mr Yahaya Dahamani, who was awarded the Most Outstanding Non-Teaching Staff. They all received fridges, LED televisions, laptops and educational materials.
HIV/AIDS Alert Award
Three schools were also given prizes for winning the Best HIV/AIDS Alert awards. They were the Tetteh Oklu State School for the Deaf at Adjei Kojo in the Tema Metropolitan Assembly which won the ultimate in that category, the Egbadzor D/A JHS the first runner-up and Asaase JHS in Navrongo, Upper East Region.
The Best Pre-School Teacher Award went to Madam Judith Yirrell, and the Best Primary School Teacher Prize was received by Mr Robert Gariba Gbari of the Richard Akwei Memorial Basic School, Accra. Mr Alex Addo Anim Tettey of the Koforidua Presby JHS was adjudged the Best JHS Teacher, whereas The Best SHS Teacher Award was received by Mr Anaba Jacob Adongo of the Sandema SHS in the Upper East Region.
National Teacher Prize
Applicants for the Ghana Teacher Prize were judged on a rigorous set of criteria to identify an extraordinary teacher who had made an outstanding contribution to the profession.
The major objective of the award scheme is to motivate teachers for higher performance and also restore the respect the profession should enjoy.