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28.06.2004 Regional News

New teachers urged to restore "esteem" of profession

By GNA

Amedzofe (V/R), June 28, GNA - The Minister of State for Tertiary Education Miss Elizabeth Ohene on Sunday urged newly qualified teachers to begin the process of restoring to their profession the high esteem it used to enjoy among Ghanaians.

Miss Ohene, who was commissioning some 149 new teachers of the Amedzofe E.P. Training College, tasked them to disprove the notion that educational standards had fallen in the country.

She observed that the teaching could be a most rewarding job if its practitioners applied themselves conscientiously to their work. "Take care of the children, make teaching respectable by having confidence in what you do", she urged.

Miss Ohene said improved conditions of service not withstanding, teachers stood to receive greater rewards for their dedication from the pupils and students whom they teach.

"Once you have touched the life of a child in the classroom, you have his loyalty for life not just saying grateful but in concrete ways", she observed.

She therefore urged the new teachers to dedicate themselves to a lifetime of teaching rather than as a profession of last resort. Miss Ohene said from next academic year, training colleges would be equipped with computers to prepare teachers for the challenging demands of modern teaching.

She explained that the focus had so far been on the basic schools because of the necessity to improve their physical conditions conducive to good teaching and learning.

In an address read for him, the Volta Regional Director of Education, Mr Donkor Gyan, cautioned the new teachers that his office would not tolerate lobbying from them or their parents for posting to their places of preference.

He said as people who were trained from the taxpayer's money, they had no choice but to serve wherever their services were needed. Mr Gyan said already his office had received letters from relatives of some of the new teachers asking that their wards should be posted to specific areas, citing health reasons.

"A sick person cannot be a teacher", he warned.

Mr Ernest Gaewu, Principal of the College, called for the rehabilitation and expansion of existing infrastructure and facilities in the College to enable it cope with the increasing student population. Mr Gaewu drew attention to the poor road network in the area and appealed to Miss Ohene to intervene to get it rehabilitated.

Reverend S.K. Afele, acting Moderator of the E.P. Church, who commissioned the new teachers, exhorted them to be good examples to their pupils and communities to which they would be assigned and to serve without complaining as required of Christians. He also urged them to constantly upgrade themselves or "rest and rust".

"Teaching is calling for those who are dedicated and committed to it, but not for those who chose to enter it out of compulsion or for want of a job to escape from the uncertainties of unemployment," he added.

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