Mr Emmanuel Asamoah Owusu-Ansah, Ashanti Regional Minister has advised teachers and teacher associations to be wary of politicians, who would want to use them for their selfish interest.
He said since the Electoral Commission often relied on their services during election periods, teachers should be conscious of the important role they would be playing and should therefore, not do anything that could give cause to the electorates to suspect their neutrality.
These were contained in an address read for him at the 6th awards day celebration of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) in Kumasi on Sunday.
The awards ceremony coincided with the World Teachers Day, which falls on October 5 each year.
The awards day formed part of activities of the annual week celebration, instituted by the association, to sensitise its members on its activities and award deserving activists for their contribution to the stability and growth of the association.
Forty GNAT activists and twelve workers of the association as well as some sponsors and managers of the Teachers' fund were honoured.
They received computers with accessories, table top refrigerators, certificates and plaques.
Mr Owusu-Ansah urged teachers to be patriotic and dedicated to their profession and aim higher as well as serving mother Ghana.
He said the government recognized education as the key to the development and progress of the country and would therefore, do everything to motivate and provide opportunities for the continuous education of the teacher in order to promote quality teaching and learning.
He mentioned the institution of in-service training programmes at all levels, distance education for teachers, the upgrading of teacher training colleges to diplomat awarding institutions and the diversification and enrichment of their curricula, as some of the strategies government was taking to ensure availability of quality teachers.
The Regional Minister said the government was seriously considering the implementation of some of the recommendations submitted to the Minister of Education by staff of the Centre for Education Policy Studies of the University of Education Winneba.
Some of the recommendations are, using the best teachers as resource persons for in-service education and training, using award winners as mentors, by teacher training institutions, documenting and distributing the profiles of good practices and achievements of best teachers to all stakeholders and video taping and putting on the internet and national television, some lessons of award winners.
Mr Owusu-Ansah commended the award winners for their hard work and dedication.
Mr Paul Osei Mensah, Former General Secretary of GNAT, said emphasis on teaching should be on enabling students to search for information and apply it as and when it became necessary.
He called on teachers to encourage their students to challenge what they were told and have critical attitude towards others, especially those in authority.
Mr Osei Mensah also called on the Ghana Education Service (GES) to establish liberalized humane employee relations to motivate teachers to give off their best.
GES must also establish a system that would enable it tract down teachers, who were incompetent and with bad character for dismissal.
Mr Augustine Mensah, Ashanti Regional Chairman of GNAT, said job satisfaction was one of the critical issues, which needed to be addressed as it had direct influence on teacher behaviour and performance, adding that, improving teacher morale and motivation would be highly critical in attracting and retaining teachers.
Present at the award ceremony were the Director General of the GES, Mr Bannerman Mensah, National President of GNAT, Mr Joseph Kwaku Adjei and Mr Kwame Pianim, Chairman of New World Investments as well as Managers of the Teachers' Fund, former Trustees and executive members of GNAT and some trade organizations.