Teachers should motivate themselves to ensure quality education
Sunyani Aug. 6, GNA - Professor Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang, Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast, has tasked teachers to be motivated to contribute their quota to the country's quest for quality education.
She said although successive governments had made efforts to better the working conditions of teachers in order so to play key roles in producing the human resource for national development, a lot depend on them to accomplish the mission.
Delivering the keynote address at the opening of the Brong Ahafo Third Quadrennial Regional Delegates' Conference in Sunyani, the Vice Chancellor urged teachers to eschew attitudes and practices that run parallel to the ethics of their chosen profession to enhance sound teaching and learning.
The conference is on the theme: "Teacher Motivation: Positive Action for Quality Education."
Professor Agyemang expressed regret that the reverence accorded to the teaching profession, in the past had waned due to negative practices by some teachers which had eroded the confidence that the general public reposed in the profession.
She said alcoholism, absenteeism and sexual abuse of pupils/students, among other negative acts were some of the practices that did not augur well in the training of children to contribute meaningfully to national development.
"We need to work to address our shortfalls to regain this lost confidence and pride," she said, adding that some teachers were not proud of their profession and not committed to its ideals.
The Vice Chancellor asked government to endeavour to provide the congenial atmosphere for sound learning and teaching towards the achievement of the objectives of the educational reforms.
The provision of adequate educational infrastructure including classrooms, adequate remuneration and accommodation especially in deprived communities would motivate teachers to give of their best, she said.
Prof. Agyemang advised teachers to reciprocate the gesture by developing a positive attitude towards their work and endeavour to upgrade themselves to become more proficient.
She called on them to turn their challenges into opportunities because "only we can motivate ourselves through excellence in our output".
In an address delivered read on his behalf, Mr. Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo, Regional Minister, acknowledged the need for an improvement in the working conditions of teachers, but emphasised that any change must be linked with performance.
He noted the abysmal performance of pupils and students in examinations and urged teachers to redouble their efforts to reverse the trend since the government was more determined to help improve their lot.
The regional minister stressed that government was doing its best to create congenial conditions for teaching and learning in pursuit of quality education in the country.
"Nothing will be done by government to jeopardize the future of our children, who are the beneficiaries of the educational reforms, on the altar of political expediency," he added.
Mr. Nyamekye-Marfo said the government had kept faith with the educational reforms with the provision of numerous infrastructure through the district, municipal and metropolitan and assemblies and the Ghana Education Trust Fund and called for the goodwill of teachers to resort to dialogue in the resolution of grievances.
Mr. Joseph Kwaku Adjei, National President of Ghana National Association of Teachers, said the National Pension scheme, which had been put on hold by government continued to be a bother to teachers.
"The foot dragging on the part of government on the launch of the national pension scheme is irritating teachers and will not augur well for labour relations in Ghana ," he said.
He said the association was not happy about political interference in the running of the Ghana Education Service, especially in the recruiting, posting and transferring of employees.
Mr. Adjei said the association would, as a matter of principle, resist any attempt by any political officer to circumvent the laid down processes for personal gain.
He called for conscientious efforts by teachers to redeem the dwindling image of teachers.
Mr. Adjei challenged them to change the mentality of being poor teachers and begin to see themselves as professionals playing a very significant role in national development.