Professor James Adu Opare, Dean of the Faculty of Education, University of Cape Coast (UCC) yesterday called on District Assemblies, School Management Committees and Parent Teacher Association to continue using their platforms to educate the public on the New Education Reforms to ensure its acceptance and success.
He said it was imperative for people to know the rationale for the reforms and the expected outcome, adding, 'when people understand what the course of action is and the benefits it has for them, the willingness to support it, even sacrifice for it becomes spontaneous'.
Professor Opare made the call at Cape Coast in the Central Region Municipal Education best teacher and worker awards ceremony at Cape Coast under the theme; 'Stakeholders commitment-a tool for the effective implementation of the Education reform'.
In all, 22 teachers and non-teaching staff were presented with awards for their meritorious service and were presented with awards including, Television sets, Ghetto blasters, Ice chests and certificates.
Professor Opare said the introduction of the reforms has given teachers extra duties, stressing that 'the success of the reforms depends to a large extent on the teacher who is the instrumental gate in any educational enterprise, take away the teacher and there will be no education, school, learning, development and no civilized society'.
He therefore called for support in the form of commitment, dedication and material assistance to enhance the success of the reforms and cautioned parents not to
use the introduction of the capitation grant, school feeing programme and the bus system to shirk their responsibilities towards their children's education.
'The responsibility to provide the basic necessities such as food and school uniform, as well as occasional PTA levies still lies with parents and the success of the reforms depends to some extent on parents assuming responsibility for some aspects of their children education'.
Professor Opare called on stakeholders to support the best teacher awards scheme stressing that a research conducted into perception of the scheme showed that the number of award recipients and award prizes given at the district and regional levels were not motivating enough due to lack of funds and stressed the need for individuals to increase their sponsorship for the scheme to enable more teachers to be awarded with valuable prizes.
He suggested the awarding of cars and houses at the district and regional level and that the support for teachers could also take the form of scholarship and bursaries for teachers who are upgrading their qualification through distance learning especially those in rural communities.
Ms Rosemond Blay Regional Director of education in a speech read for her commended the award winners and urged teachers not to use upgrading themselves through distance education and sandwich courses against the interest of their pupils, 'you should have time to teach and time to do your private programmes'.
She also urged them to eschew vices like absenteeism, drunkenness, lateness, using school hours for private work and that they should also take writing of their lesson notes seriously.
Ms Blay expressed concern that some schools in the region scored zero percent in the BECE and called on teachers to work harder to avoid repetition of the situation next year.
Mr Chris Dowuona-Hammond, Municipal Director of Education, in his welcoming address, suggested the creation of a permanent fund at the districts level in support of teacher motivation and stressed that, this would enable more teachers to be awarded and also to curb the frustration associated with soliciting for sponsorship for teachers awards.
He urged the award winners to share their expertise with their colleague and work harder to enable them win national awards and also help improve upon academic standards in schools in the region.
Osabarima Kwesi Atta II, Omanhene of Oguaa traditional area, who presided called on the public particularly parents to appreciate the work of teachers and accord them the needed support and respect to ensure the success of education reforms.
He asked parents not to leave the training of their children to only the teacher, stressing that teachers were only playing a complementary rule in the education of their children.
Ms Betty Bentum, of Zion primary 'B' school, Mr Mensah Fosu of Ola Catholic JSS and Ms Alberta Coffie of Wesley Girls High School received the best award in the primary, Junior and Senior high schools level respectively.
Mr Alfred Dennis of Cape Coast technical school was best in the technical and vocational division, while Mr Walla of the municipal education directorate received the best non-teaching staff award.