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16.10.2008 Education

Education reform requires highly trained teachers

Education reform requires highly trained teachers

A former Director-General of the Ghana Education Service (GES), the Very Reverend Ama Afo B1ay, has suggested that all the teadter training colleges which upgraded recently to the tertiary status of colleges of education, should rather be made university colleges.

This she said would make it possible for such university colleges to turnout the required first degree holders to staff educational institutions at the primary, junior and senior high schools.

The Very Rev. Afo Blay made the suggestion when she addressed the 34th annual conference of Managers of Educational Units (COMEU) at Koforidua at the weekend.

The three-day meeting under the theme, "Religious Bodies in Education, Achievements, Challenges and the Way Forward," was to take stock of COMEU's activities for the year and see how to address problems associated with educational institutions under its umbrella.

According to the Very Rev Afo Blay, the current educational reform programme calls for highly trained teachers who should be degree holders at the primary, junior high and senior high schools and that those holding diplomas, awarded by the colleges of education, lack certain qualities for the job.

The situation demanded that degree holders teach in all educational institutions, she noted, and therefore urged teachers to upgrade themselves to better take care of pupils and students who should be well trained to meet the challenges of the country.

The Very Rev Afo Blay dwelt extensively on various aspects of education and called on the authorities to appoint qualified and competent heads for schools run by religious bodies but not unqualified and incompetent ones who belonged to such religions.

Technical educational institutions, she stated, must also be equipped to produce personnel needed in industry, especially those to take care of the, oil industry, otherwise foreigners would have to be recruited at the expense of Ghanaians.

She also stressed the need for managers and directors to co-perate, instead of seeing one other as enemies for the educational refonns to be successful.

The National President of COMEU, S. K. Mensah said, over the years, his outfit had been discussing key issues on education and that it had promoted discipline and academics in school run by religious organisations, as a result of which the schools had become the preferred choices for parents and guardians seeking admission for their children or wards.

COMEU, he further said, had strengthened partnership between the government and the religious bodies for the effective running of the schools.

The acting Co-ordinator, Education Unit Management of the GES, Mrs Comfort Arthur, who represented the Director-General, called on school managers to collaborate with parents to curb occultism and other vices in schools and colleges.

The New Juaben Municipal Chief Executive, Nana Adjei Boateng, who also represented the Eastern Regional Minister, Mr K wadwo Affrarn Asiedu, appealed to the managers to collaborate with the government on educational matters, especially issues affecting teachers, to help avert strikes by the teachers, since such preventable strikes had had negative impacts on the academic performance of pupils and students.

He also called on the managers to help make this year's elections violent-free.