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Opinions of Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Columnist: Amoah, Anthony Kwaku

PROs of GES salute the media

It does not spoil anything to call it a feature article or a news feature. What matters is the content and how the reader takes it. This write-up intends to be brief and concise. The Ghana Education Service (GES) is happy to be in partnership with the media in providing good quality and reliable information to the public.

But for the media and allied outlets, it would have been difficult, if not practically impossible, for GES to reach out to its directors, teachers and the public with information. GES depends on the media for public opinions on emerging educational issues. The parent at Wungu in Northern Region, for example, relies on the media for information on her ward’s placement at the senior high school. The media have been helpful in disseminating information to and creating awareness of the public on School Feeding, Capitation Grant, Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education, among others.

GES owes the media, including print and electronic media a great deal of appreciation. Others like the postal system, telecommunication industries, social media, and online news portals and websites deserve thanksgiving. Listen to the Director-General of GES, Mr. Jacob Aaworb-Nang Maabobr Kor, “GES does a lot of good things but the public hardly hears of us.

Our success story has not been adequately told. Help us to tell these stories well as teachers and as public relations officers. Make sure you regularly update your knowledge and understanding of the educational and professional policies of GES to enable you to communicate things well to the public.” This goes to confirm that GES values the media and journalists as partners in the process of education and information delivery. The media create the platform and harvest the attention of audience for the public relations officer (PRO) to speak or to write on topical issues of public concern.

Effective public relations promote transparency, and strong stakeholder awareness and partnership. There is therefore the need for PROs to work in unison with the media always. It is also true that an ignorant, confused audience is the product of a misleading, irresponsible media practice and journalism. The media know that a news item is deemed authentic if it comes from an accredited source. Any information for public use must be well corroborated and scrutinized. GES would always strive to update the public on relevant issues and policies.

GES does not work in isolation; it is never a security installation. It is a public institution which depends on the public for survival. Its schools and offices at the district through to the national level are open to the public for enquiries and for service. We call on the media and individuals to approach us for whatever information they need. GES shall supply them once they are available.

A couple of days ago, Reverend Jonathan Bettey, Mr. Francis Gbadago and I visited the Graphic Communications Group to greet and to familiarize with some of our media partners. We reaffirmed our vim and that of GES to work with them for Ghana. Mr. Ransford Tetteh of Daily Graphic, Mr. David Agbenu of The Ghanaian Times and their staff received us well and promised to support us in our dealings with the public. We hope to replicate this tour to other media houses in the coming days.

The fact also stands that GES bears no grudge with any media house and is prepared to work with all outlets for the sake of Ghana. Let’s all pray and act against the temptation of some media houses resorting to the use of cheap pedestrian accounts of critical issues and facts to feed the public.

Press releases, advertisements, features and write-ups for public consumption would have remained on the desks of GES for long or forever had it not been for the help of the media. I am personally indebted to The Daily Graphic, The Ghanaian Times, Ghana News Agency, The Chronicle, Today newspaper and online news portals like myjoyonline.com, ghanaweb, modernghana.com, newsghana.com and others for their timely publications of my features and stories on GES.

To those who have so far kept faith with me and GES by sharing and giving publicity to my features and stories in social media like blogs, face book and WhatsApp, we say thank you. Let’s all help to push Ghana’s education forward. My senior colleague, Reverend Jonathan Bettey would also want to shower God’s blessings on all television and radio stations in the country, including GTV, TV 3, GBC Radio and Joy FM for periodically hosting him on GES vibes. We thank our listeners, readers and the public for their time and support. Let’s stay together and share together!
The writer is an educationist and a Public Relations Officer of the Ghana Education Service.

E-mail: amoatec27@yahoo.com