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Regional News of Monday, 26 January 2004

Source: GNA

Fifty-two volunteers receive training

Bolgatanga, Jan. 26, GNA- Fifty-two volunteers who were assigned to teach in second cycle schools in rural communities in the Upper East Region, under the National Volunteer Programme (NVP), on Friday ended a five-day workshop in Bolgatanga.

The training, which was jointly organised by the National Service Scheme (NSS) and the Volunteer Services Organisation of Britain (VSO), was to impart teaching skills and techniques to the volunteers, most of whom lacked knowledge of the teaching profession.

The workshop was to further boost their confidence as reflective practitioners and to expose them to the basic principles of blackboard use. It would also enable them to use visual aid from locally available materials and to explore extra curricular potentials of the NVP.

Mr Mahami Salifu, Upper East Regional Minister, said education is a basic fundamental requirement for the development of every community, and that if the people could make any head to improve their living conditions, then, they must take education seriously and invest in it.

He said government attaches importance to education, especially in the northern part of the country, and that it is determined to develop more facilities and improve upon the existing infrastructure in schools to facilitate quality teaching in the area.

Mr Salifu emphasized that government has demonstrated its determination and commitment to improving education in the north by its ability to allocate funds for the upgrading of the Bolgatanga and Bawku to the status of leading schools such as Prempeh in Kumasi and Achimota in Accra.

He indicated that the region is handicapped in terms of infrastructure in schools and that the situation has been worsened by teachers' unwillingness to accept postings to the area.

He commended the initiators of the volunteer programme and pledged government's support to ensure its sustenance.

The Minister called for discipline among the volunteers and urged them to respect the cultural values of the people in the communities they have been deployed.

The Director of the National Service Scheme (NSS), Mr Boniface Gambila, said measures had been put in place to ensure that the programme was sustained and extended to other communities that lack teachers.

He announced that Ghana had won a bid to host an international conference of volunteer organisations worldwide this year and expressed that the country would benefit from the programme.