Wa, Oct. 5, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor on Tuesday called on the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) and the Ghana Education Service (GES) to collaborate effectively to weed out all teachers who engage in alcoholism, absenteeism, trading and other negative practices that affect the school children negatively. "I am told that teacher absenteeism generally is on the increase with some teachers engaging in farming and trading activities rather than teaching. Some teachers are reported to be alcoholics, whilst others defile their pupils. This is unacceptable and GES and GNAT must stand up to reverse the trend."
These were contained in a speech read on his behalf by Mr. Sahanun Mogtari, Upper West Regional Minister during the 10th annual best teacher award ceremony held at Wa.
In all, 30 teachers were awarded from the primary, junior secondary and senior secondary schools and special awards in teacher training colleges, science and non-teaching categories.
President Kufuor said the Government was liaising with international donor organisations to improve on educational structures and to make teaching one of the attractive professions in the country. He also appealed to the Ghana Education Service and GNAT to widen the award scope to capture more teachers in future in the rural areas.
Mr. Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, Minister of Education, Youth and Sports announced that the presidential white paper on education would soon be out which every individual would be tasked to give inputs for the betterment of status of teachers in the country.
He said 25 more schools, apart from the already upgrading schools, would this year be given on contract for upgrading and expansion to admit more students.
"Kanton Secondary School and Jirapa Secondary School are the next beneficiary schools in the Upper West Region apart from Wa Senior Secondary and Lawra Secondary, which are already receiving attention," he emphasised.
He said the Government would continue to provide the necessary infrastructure to increase enrolment and bring down the illiteracy rate in the country.
"About eight schools so far have exceeded their enrolment targets and I know more others will exceed as we go along because of good infrastructure."
Miss Charlotte Azurago, 28-year-old teacher at St. Charles Lwanga Primary School in Zebilla in the Bawku West District was crowned the best national teacher and received a cheque for 280 million cedis for a housing project while Mr. Samuel Asare of Pope John's Secondary in Koforidua and Ms. Theresa Quaye of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology Junior Secondary School who placed second and third received Nissan Saloon cars.