President John Agyekum Kufuor has assured Directors of Education that the Government would provide the requisite incentives for the successful implementation of the new educational reforms.
The President gave the assurance in a speech read on his behalf by Mr Kwadwo Adjei Darko, Minister for Local Government, Rural Development and Environment, at the opening of the 14th Annual Conference of Directors of Education in Sunyani in the Brong Ahafo Region.
The conference under the theme, 'Quality Education - The Teacher Factor,' would offer the Directors the opportunity to share their experiences, challenges and collectively work out the way forward.
President Kufuor said the Education Director's role in ensuring the successful implementation of the national education reform was pivotal and crucial. 'The director of education therefore becomes the driver of the brand new vehicle called the new education reform. Imagine what will happen if the driver does not move the vehicle. The vehicle stands still in the old order,' he said.
President Kufuor said 'this kind of relevant and quality education is expected to have a positive impact on the various aspects of our national economy, civil society, culture as well as the scientific and technological capacity of our dear nation.'
He said the reform must therefore be innovative and generate creativity to ensure the development of a stronger human resource base and training of future leaders.
The President said the reform must bridge the digital divide and ensure equity, giving opportunities for individuals to develop their potentials irrespective of gender, religion, background, personal circumstances and geographical location.
He stressed that there were clear indications of a positive correlation between the quality of education, the levels of human resource development and the levels of economic development.
'Quality education is a function and as a result, teachers must be empowered through training to have the confidence and the competencies to perform,' President Kufuor said, adding that its delivery and the role of the director of education therefore became critical in the nation's developmental process.
President Kufuor said the nation was poised to utilise education as a development tool in its developmental process to ensure the development of quality of life for the citizenry. 'Quality education has the potential to transform societies into more sustainable societies and is therefore a dynamic concept for societies like Ghana that are undergoing social and economic transformation and development,' he said.
President Kufuor urged the directors to deepen their relationships with District Chief Executives and all stake-holders since the reform programme could only succeed in an atmosphere of peaceful co-existence. He called on the directors to employ all that was required to move the reforms forward to meet the nation's objectives and goals.
Mr Ignatius Baffour Awuah, Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, in an address read for him said the education reforms put in place by Government was meant to give the youth quality and relevant education to be able to meet the future needs of the nation. He appealed to the directors to come out with useful and helpful suggestions for the consideration of appropriate authorities on the welfare of teachers.
The Regional Minister said there had been a substantial increase in enrolment and retention of pupils in basic schools as a result of the reforms and gave assurance that the Government was committed to the provision of additional facilities and other forms of support to ensure that all children of school going age enjoyed quality education.
Mrs Sophia G. Awortwi, president of the conference of directors of education, called on the directors to have a new mind set and attitude towards the teaching profession and to have a positive impact on the working ethics of the profession in and outside the classroom.
She said bad attitude of some teachers had carved a certain mental niche for the profession and had relegated teachers to the background in society. 'Such sunken image has affected the general image of the profession and has even affected classroom delivery,' she said and appealed to her colleagues to make deliberate efforts to make the profession as enviable as other professions.