The Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has called on parents not to disregard the value of what teachers bring to bear on the lives of children but to support them and recognise their contribution to national development.
“We cannot entrust our children in the care of teachers and then disregard them.
As parents, let us complement the work of our teachers, let us not denigrate our teachers when they seek to act in the best interest of the child because teachers are our allies in building that good society we all dream of,” Dr Bawumia stated.
Addressing the maiden Ghana Teacher Prize Awards held at the Presbyterian Boys’ Senior High School (PRESEC) at Legon in Accra yesterday, Dr Bawumia said all Ghanaians had roles to play in empowering teachers to deliver quality instruction to children in the country.
The maiden Ghana Teacher Prize 2018, which was on the theme:
“The right to education means the right to a qualified teacher”, is a rebrand of the National Best Teacher Awards which was started in 1995.
The awards is a way of appreciating the efforts of teachers and recognising the contributions of very hardworking and selfless teachers, as one of the means to motivate them and also to improve the standards of education in the country.
The event was under the auspices of the Ministry of Education and the NationalTeaching Council.
Present at the ceremony were the Minister of Education, Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh, and his deputies, Mrs Barbara Asher Ayisi and Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, the Minister of State in charge of Tertiary Education, Professor Kwesi Yankah, Members of Parliament (MPs), Directors of Education and other groups, including the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) and the Teachers and Educational Workers Union (TEWU).
Describing the award winners as unsung heroes, Dr Bawumia paid tribute to all teachers and said they often worked in less than ideal conditions and toiled not only to impart knowledge but to shape the moral code and prepare their students to be responsible citizens.
“To teach is to inspire, to challenge, to mould, to develop thinking, to sow seeds for the future.
Let me, therefore, on this momentous occasion, use this opportunity to salute our gallant teachers for their commitment to duty,” he added.
The Vice-President said the government, for its part, was fully committed to carrying out reforms in the country’s educational sector to ensure that education for children was fit for purpose.
Teachers, he said, played a pivotal role in the development of the country’s human resource and remained key in the achievement of the overall development of the country.
“We must, therefore, resolve to rally behind our noble teachers and empower them to bring true meaning to this challenging, yet noble business of developing human capacities and capabilities because ultimately, Ghana will be the winner,” Dr Bawumia stressed.
Touching on some interventions of the government to improve the standards of education in the country, the Vice-President said the upgrading of colleges ofeducation to university colleges which was being done in collaboration with and the support of the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) is to upgrade capacity and improve upon the quality of teacher training to position teachers to be able to respond to the education needs of the country.
In addition, he said the aim of the newly introduced teacher licensure exam was primarily to enable candidates to acquire professional licences and prepare them to meet national teaching and global standards of possessing the minimum knowledge, skills, values and attitudes necessary to deliver effectively in schools.
The winner of the maiden Ghana Teacher Prize is Mr Nicholas Mawunyo Gborse, an English and History teacher of the Bishop Herman College at Kpando in the Volta Region.
He is now the owner of a three-bedroom house valued at GH¢180,000 and other assorted items, while the first runner-up, Ms Augusta Lartey-Young of the Presbyterian Boys Senior High School, Legon, Accra; received a 4x4 Pickup valued at GH¢130, 000 as her prize.
Mr Owusu Antepim of the Nsutaman Catholic Senior High School (SHS) in the Sekyere Central District of the Ashanti Region, took home a saloon car and GH¢ 50,000.
All the three winners also received insurance packages worth GH¢10,000 from SIC Life.