In recognition of the high regard government places on the teaching profession, President John Agyekum Kufuor is expected to present the ultimate award of a house worth GH¢50,000 to be built at a place of his/her choice to one of 39 teachers selected to receive various awards at this year's celebration of the Annual National Best Teacher/Worker Awards ceremony today.
The 39 teachers, who were selected across the ten regions of the country, fall in 13 categories at different levels of education, including non-teaching staff. They are being honoured by the state in recognition of their meritorious services in the achievement of the human resource base of the country, officials have hinted.
The first and second runners-up of the awards, which is in its 14th year, will also receive cars worth $22,000 and $18,000 respectively, among others.
This year's event, which has seen many innovations, will also reward the remaining 36 hardworking teachers with prizes ranging from double-door refrigerators, TV sets, gas cookers, motor-bikes and ghetto blasters.
The Statesman's enquiries yesterday indicated that all the awardees, including their spouses, had arrived, whilst all the prizes were ready for presentation today.
Organisers told this paper that the Brong Ahafo Region was poised to host this year's event in a grand style and assured the general public that they should expect nothing but a 'good show.'
When this reporter visited the Jubilee Park, the venue for the ceremony, to ascertain the level of preparedness yesterday afternoon, everything was set for today's ceremony.
GBC TV and Radio OB vans were also seen packed there with the assurance that the event would be telecast live on the national network to millions of Ghanaians across the country.
Meanwhile, the awardees and officials of the national and regional planning committees as well officials from the GES yesterday paid a courtesy call on the Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Ignatius Baffour Awuah, to formally introduce themselves to him.
The Regional Minister noted that "the teacher is an important element of the success of the New Educational Reforms', hence the government's frantic efforts to improve the welfare of teachers.
He however, challenged them to develop their ICT knowledge base to help them to compete favourably in the new global world.
In a related development, The Statesman has interacted with the 2005 National Best Teacher Award Winner, Doris Nana Marfo, to see how the award had positively impacted on his life.
The 47-year old English Tutor and Assistant Headmistress of the Sunyani Senior High School, told this paper that 'a lot of changes have happened to my life.'
According to the hardworking teacher with over 30 years of experience, people started according her respect and recognition after becoming a national heroine, but she was quick to state that the recognition came with its attendant challenges.
She claimed that people started coming to her for loans with the impression that she had suddenly jumped into a pool of money.
Miss Nana Marfo, a mother of two, said her students, especially girls, 'take me as a role model,' and that students are now eager to listen to her.
She has called for the establishment of a 'National Best Teachers Association.' This novelty, she noted, would help put their rich ideas together to undertake a national project which would provide hope and inspiration for colleague teachers and students.
The 2005 National Best Teacher congratulated this year's awardees and government of Ghana on their hard work and committing itself to the recognition of teachers' hard work respectively.
She charged the award winners not to be swollen-headed but continue to work harder since 'the award is not the end but just the beginning of hard work and sincere service to the nation.'