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04.09.2012 Education

Prioritise Welfare Of Teachers - In Hard-to-reach Communities

By Justice Baidoo - Daily Graphic
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The Ghana Education Service (GES) Council, led by Professor Adu Gyamfi Ampem has ended its three-year tenure of office with a proposal for the Ministry of Education to prioritise the welfare of teachers in hard-to-reach communities.

Prof. Adu Gyamfi Ampem told the Daily Graphic after the council’s last meeting in Accra that the council’s work over the period had showed that poor motivation of teachers was largely responsible for the poor performance of pupils in such areas.

The council is the highest decision-making body of the GES and was inaugurated in August, 2009.

According to Prof. Ampem, the stewardship of his council had seen the resolution of some major challenges that confronted the service.

He said proposals had been made to streamline the calendar of university distance learning programme to conform to the regular school calendar.

Teachers involved in the distance learning programme are usually absent from the classroom due to the discrepancies in the two calendars.

He said a lot of work had been done to reduce the backlog of teaching and non-teaching staff of the service who are waiting for promotion interviews.

Prof. Ampem, who doubles as the Chief of Achirensua in the Brong Ahafo Region, said the intervention of the council had eased the pressure in the service.

He also said the outgone council had brought the work closer to major stakeholders at the grassroots.

“In the past all the meetings of the council were held at its offices in Accra but we have changed that. Over the last three years we have held meetings with all stakeholders in six out of the 10 regions and that has really made more of our people know how critical we are in the provision of education,” he said.

The council had also put in place measures that had reduced tension among some of the major unions therein.

He said associations like the Teachers and Educational Workers’ Union (TEWU), the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) and the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) were now more harmonised than they used to be.

He added that they had made proposals for the Ghana Education Service Act of 1995 and the Education Act of 2008 to be harmonised since according to the council, the existence of the two documents was not in the interest of the sector.

“Before our departure, we have suggested to the minister that the study leave for teachers be seriously looked at. We think that it should be done to favour teachers who ply their trade in the hard-to-reach communities of our country,” he said.

Other members of the committee include Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Martey, Ms Benedicta Naana Biney, Most Rev. Philip Naameh and Mr Godwin Sowah.

The rest are:Ms Cecilia Pomary, Dr Regina Adutwum, Mr Francis Kojo Arthur, Nene Sakite II, Mrs Janet Ampadu Fofie, Major Mahama Tara (retd), Alhaji Muhammed Amir Kpakpo Addo and Mr Paul Osei Mensah.

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