Mr. Mark Woyongo, Upper East Regional Minister, has observed that education was the major component for improving productive capacity of societies.
He also said that education was an instrument for mainstreaming social order and promoting cultural, social, economic and political development of any society.
Mr Woyongo made this observation in a speech read for him by Mr. Samuel N'lary, Chief Director of the Regional Coordinating Council, at the maiden matriculation of students of Gbewaa Training College, at Pusiga near Bawku at the weekend.
The Regional Minister said government was committed to improving education through the provision of modern libraries equipped with computers, lecture halls, staff bungalows, dormitories, laboratories among others.
He said that educational development in the northern part was very recent as compared to the southern sector of the country and that there was a minimum of 164 years gap between the establishment of first school in the south and the establishment of the first school in the north.
Mr. Woyongo cited that the first castle school in Ghana was established in 1737 and the first Mission school in 1828 all in Cape Coat in the Central Region.
On the other hand, the first government school opened in the North was in 1909 in Tamale.
Mr. Woyongo advised people in the northern part of the country to take advantage of the numerous educational interventions including the Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education (FCUBE), Capitation Grants, School Feeding Programme and Free Uniforms for Deprived Communities and send their children to school.
He said the NDC Government intended to adopt the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) to bridge the gap between the Northern and Southern parts of Ghana.
Mr. Woyongo said "Indeed it is expected that more schools, hospitals, roads and other poverty reduction interventions would be put in place by the government to help bridge the gap between the North and the South".
He said that the dream of bridging the gap between the North and the South would become a mirage if the people in the North failed to stop conflicts that retard development.
Mr. Wayongo advised the students that "As teacher trainees you need to take your studies seriously to enable you to come out successfully and take your profession as teachers to impart the needed knowledge and skills to the children entrusted to you for the development of the country's human resource base ".
He advised them to exercise a lot of self-discipline and self-control in discharging of their duties.
Mr Wayongo commended the students for not experiencing any unrest in the school and urged them to continue with that for other institutions to emulate.
Mr. Woyongo said that government was adopting measures to improve the conditions of teachers, which would include improving their salary levels, introduction of teacher hardship allowance, and better accommodation for those in the deprived areas, to motivate teachers to put up their best.
On HIV/AIDS, he advised the youth to refrain from extra-marital sex to avoid contracting the disease.
The Principal, Pastor Luke Abugri, appealed to government to provide the College with adequate administration block, dinning hall, examination halls, Staff bungalows, and to renovate old buildings to enhance teaching and learning.
He also said “Water is another major problem facing the College and it would be appreciated if the water source at Pusiga is linked to the College to help provide water to the students".
The Minister assured the school authorities that plans were far advanced by government to improve infrastructure development of tertiary institutions in the country.