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24.10.2004 General News

Implement the plan of action to train pupil teachers - Kufuor

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Kumasi, Oct.24, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor has directed the Teacher Education Division of the Ghana Education Service (GES) to implement the plan of action to train the numerous pupil teachers in the system.

He stated that the government "will provide every necessary economic support that will bring this dream into reality". These were contained in an address read for him by Major Courage Quashigah (rtd), Minister of Food and Agriculture at a durbar to climax the 80th anniversary celebration of the Wesley College in Kumasi on Saturday.

President Kufuor said already, the country's development partners, notably the Japanese International Co-operation Agency (JICA), Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), German Technical Co-operation (GTZ), France and the British Department for International Development (DFID) had expressed readiness to complement the efforts at improving teacher education.

He noted that, it was by improving and upgrading teacher education that, basic education could become assessable to all children. The President reminded teachers about the need to instil discipline among pupils entrusted to their care, saying, through this the nation could assure itself of high calibre future generations who would work hard to move Ghana forward.

He told them that if they shirked this responsibility, they would be planting the seed of indiscipline and laziness. President Kufuor expressed concern about reports that some teachers engage in drinking or prayer sessions at the expense of classroom work and said that must stop.

He announced the award on contract, rehabilitation work on the college's dormitory block that got burnt three years ago as well as the construction of a new female dormitory block that has the capacity for accommodating 300 students.

President Kufuor praised the French government for assisting the college with a well-stocked library and a language laboratory.

The Most Reverend Dr Robert Aboagye-Mensah, Presiding Bishop of the Methodist church, who was the chairman for the function, drew attention to the need to adequately resource the Teacher Training College to enable them to produce quality teachers. "It is obvious what to expect when we allow half-baked teachers to bring up our children."

He said it was also important to put in place a continuous teacher development programme to upgrade and update the competences of serving teachers to enable them to offer quality teaching that would facilitate education.

The Presiding Bishop called for special incentive packages to encourage teachers to transfer from the urban to deprived communities. "New life must be injected to revive the teaching profession and make it attractive to more people. Gone should be the day when the teaching profession was used as a spring board for starters to launch into other more lucrative and rewarding professions", he added. Mr B.F. Anyan, the Principal, in a welcoming address praised the Kufuor administration for the infrastructure development that had taken place in the college in recent times.

These, he said, included the tarring of its roads and drive-ways and the improvement of the sewerage disposal system, adding that, for the first time they are also getting assistance from the GETFund. He, however, appealed for the rehabilitation of some tutors' bungalows and the construction of new ones.

The College, which was started with 30 students, now has a student population of 878.

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