30.06.2006 Regional News

Northern Region awards teachers

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Mr Chikpah Demuyakor, the Northern Regional Director of Education, said the introduction of the Capitation Grant and the NEPAD School Feeding Programme in some schools had increased enrolments to 68,396, representing 19 per cent.

He said this development had posed a challenge in the areas of teachers, classrooms and furniture.

"For instance, the shortfall in teacher requirement is 2,465 while 1,828 additional classrooms and 36,925 pieces of furniture are also required to enhance quality teaching and learning in the schools".

Mr Demuyakor said this during the 2003 and 2004 edition of the Northern Regional Best Teacher and Worker Award ceremony in Tamale on Thursday.

The 48 best teachers and non-teaching staff of the Ghana Education Service (GES) received refrigerators, television sets, stoves and certificates.

Mr Demuyakor said the GES, with permission from the Ministry of Education and Sports, was recruiting some retired teachers and qualified pupil teachers to handle the excess enrolments.

He said the government and the district assemblies were also making efforts to provide classroom accommodation and furniture.

The Regional Director suggested to the organisers of the awards to include houses or building materials at the regional level, saying: "This is a critical area for many members of the service".

He urged teachers in the region to rededicate themselves to their work and also work together with commitment and a little sacrifice for the success of education.

Mr Issah Ketekewu, the Deputy Northern Regional Minister, appealed to corporate bodies, non governmental organisations and philanthropists in the region to supplement the government's efforts by donating special prizes for special subject categories.

"These special prizes should target some of the very important subjects such as Mathematics, English Language, Science and Technical Education that children fail to perform well in."

Mr Ketekewu said despite the government's and its development partners' efforts to improve education, reports reaching the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) suggest that all was not well at both the basic and secondary school levels.

He said the RCC has been receiving complaints about levies in respect of examination and extra classes despite the payment of capitation grants to schools and warned heads of basic schools desist from the practice.

Mr. Ketekewu explained that it was only Parents Teacher Association (PTA) of a school that has the right to levy their members should the need arise and not the head teachers.

He said it was also wrong for any head master of a second cycle school to prevent or not to register a student for the final examinations simply because of non-payment of school fees.

"Heads of schools are advised to find alternative means of retrieving school fees and should not allow their actions to jeopardize the lives of their students", he said

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