Akatsi, (V/R), May 3, GNA - Mr Stephen Asamoah Boateng, Deputy Minister of Information has hinted that the material and professional development of teachers would be the next pre-occupation of government now that the infrastructure problem has been sufficiently tackled.
Mr Boateng made this point at an awards ceremony to honour 14 deserving teachers, pupils and non-teaching staff of the Ghana Education Service (GES) in the Akatsi District at the weekend.
"Teachers should be lifted up quickly because if they give up, the country would stagnate", he asserted.
Mr Boateng said parents would also be the focus of attention in the next stage of government's plan for the major players in the education sector, because of the need for parents to support and protect achievements of teachers.
Mr Boateng explained that priority was given to infrastructure development because of the need to protect pupils and entice them to stay in school.
He commended the Akatsi District Assembly, sponsors of the programme and the District Directorate of the GES for collaborating to uplift the standard of education in the district.
Mr Boateng however, suggested that, subsequent awards should take cognisance of communities, individuals and parents who exert positive influences on educational development.
He urged parents not to hesitate in investing in their children's education, because education was the surest way of getting over poverty in the family, community and the country.
Mr Nicholas Negble, Akatsi District Chief Executive (DCE) said the Assembly last year spent approximately 5.7 billion cedis, representing 60 per cent of its developmental investment in the education sector. Out of the amount 2.5 billion cedis came from the GETFUND, 1.082 billion from HIPC Fund, 909 million from the EU and 1.2 billion cedis from the District Assembly Common Fund (DACF).
He said the Assembly spends more than 42 million cedis annually on the remuneration of pupil teachers, while so far, over 170 teacher-trainees have been offered scholarship by the Assembly, 42 of whom passed out last year and 36 others expected to pass out in June this year. Mr Kofi Torku, Acting District Director of Education thanked the District Assembly whose financial support he said enabled the Directorate to meet its commitments.
Mr Torku said over 38 schools in the district have been listed as deprived and, therefore, appealed to citizens of such communities to top up government's incentive packages for teachers to be retained. The awards included colour television sets, Ghetto Blasters, mattresses and certificates.