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Regional News of Saturday, 9 February 2008

Source: GNA

GES urged to assist teachers pay school fees

Kumasi, Feb.9, GNA - A former Director General of the Ghana Education Service (GES), Mr Solomon Obeng, has recommended to the GES and the Ministry of Education Science and Sports to find a way to assist teachers who are engaged in distance learning and other top-up programmes in the country to pay their fees. He said if the financial impediment, which had been the major complaint of teachers involved in these programmes were removed they would be better encouraged to pursue the courses to improve themselves to meet the challenges of the new educational reforms. Mr Obeng made the appeal at the 6th graduation ceremony of the Wesley Training College (WESCO) in Kumasi on Saturday. He said for the education reforms to succeed the teacher who served as an instrument of change and a pivot around whom everything revolved, must be very well motivated and resourced to produce his best, adding that, "anything short of this, to say the least, will be precariously dangerous for the reforms". Mr Obeng said, it was in recognition of this that the GES and the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports had embarked upon a number of interventions to ensure that the teacher became more resourceful and maximize all the inputs made available to him. Among them are, the upgrading of all training colleges to tertiary status to offer diplomat certificates to teachers, introduction of distance learning in almost all the public universities, a top-up courses for certificate A teachers and the untrained diplomat programme for pupil teachers among others. He, however, deplored the poor service conditions for teachers and said better conditions of service were considered an important ingredient required to produce a committed and resourceful teacher. Mr Obeng said it was high time that the conditions of service of teachers were seriously looked into with the view to improving them to ensure that teachers were content and were prepared to give of their best.

He also called for the establishment of well stocked libraries and ICT centres in teacher training colleges. Mrs Belinda Serwaah Addo, Ashanti Regional Director of Education in an address read for her, said adequate resourcing of the teacher was crucial to the challenges of the new educational reforms and advised all stakeholders in education to support teachers to instill discipline in schools. Mr Badu Fordjour Anyan, Principal of the College, reiterated the call on the government to extend the students loans scheme to the teacher training colleges to assist students. He also appealed to the government to assist the college to expand its ICT laboratory in order to take more students at a time. Prizes were awarded to deserving students and staff.

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