Takoradi, May 19, - GNA - Mr Joseph Boahen Aidoo, Western Regional Minister, has stated that it was time for the whole nation to find ways and means to adequately motivate teachers to enable them to give of their best.
He was speaking at the 2003 Regional Best Teacher Awards Ceremony in Takoradi on Wednesday at which 22 teachers and education workers from primary, JSS, SSS, Technical and Vocational institutions were presented with awards.
Mr Aidoo said the issue of improving the remuneration and condition of service of teachers should not be left to the government of the day, be it NPP, NDC or CPP but should be decided by the nation.
He called for a national conference to debate the matter in order the raise the falling image of the teaching profession, which is now regarded as not rewarding enough by many people.
Mr Aidoo said the level of respect for the profession had gone down to the extent that many children prefer to be doctors and engineers than teachers.
"It is not surprising that some teachers are now leaving the country to seek green pastures in China while those teachers working in the country are doing so at a great sacrifice" he said.
Mr Aidoo said it would not be out of place to seek loans to assist teachers to procure vehicles and to furnish bungalows for teachers because many of them cannot do so with their meagre salaries. Mrs Justina Esinam Torjagbor, Western and Central Regional Director of Education, said it is unfortunate that some people do not see any thing good in sponsoring educational programmes such as the awards ceremony.
She asked such people to change their attitude and throw their full weight behind educational programmes to encourage teachers to work harder.
Mrs Torjabor cautioned teachers who are drunkards and those who consistently absent themselves from classes that, they would be drastically dealt with when caught.
She said there has not been enhancement in the regional awards to teachers and charged the authorities to take a second look at the awards and improve their content.
Mr Yusif Effah, a former Western Regional Director of Education, who presided, called on teachers to continue to give of their best to improve the quality of education.
Mr. Effah said, improving the quality of education depends on the Ghana Education Service, teachers and teachers' unions working in harmony.
At the SSS level, Mr Paul Kwaw of Nsein Secondary School was adjudged the best while Miss Christina Dzokoto of Archbishop Porter Girls Secondary School and Mr Anthony Peter Amissah of Saint Mary's Boys Secondary School took the second and third prizes respectively. Mr Ebenezer Lomotey of Sese District Council JSS was awarded the first prize in the JSS category, Mr William Awumee of Myohaung Forces JSS took the second prize and Miss Lydia Ivy Solomon of Aboso-Bosomtwe District Council JSS, also took the third prize.
The first prize in the Primary School category went to Miss Georgina Bissue of Assankran/Breman District Council Primary, while Ms Margaret Joyce Afrah of Anhwiawso District Council Primary and Mr Samuel Paintsil of Nana Anaisie Primary were awarded the second and third prizes respectively.
The first prize winners were presented with 20-inch Sony colour television sets, the second, gas cookers and the third, refrigerators.