Legon, March 16, GNA - The Senior Minister J.H. Mensah has stressed the government's determination to assist teachers who want to pursue further studies to enhance their professional competence. He said, however, that the desire to upgrade their qualifications should not be at the disadvantage of pupils and students.
Mr Mensah made the point at the annual fund raising dinner of the University of Ghana branch of the Brong Ahafo Students Union (BASU) at the weekend on the theme "promoting education and development in Brong Ahafo: a responsibility of all".
Students, representatives of some chiefs as well as some MPs from the Region, attended it.
The Senior Minister who was the guest of honour observed that education was the only prerequisite that could break the cycle of poverty and diseases and urged the students to be proactive in their studies and academic work.
He stated that the major difference that existed between children in developed and developing countries was quality teaching and learning that the advanced nations offered.
The Senior Minister explained that this was the reason why the government had decided to provide a favourable atmosphere for effective teaching and learning at all levels of education. Mr Mensah pointed out that one of such measures was to assist teachers to acquire higher knowledge by granting them study leave with pay and other incentives.
He expressed regrets that most teachers failed to return to the classroom after their courses and said a large number of classrooms were without teachers due to the mass exodus of teachers to tertiary institutions, adding that, teachers could acquire degrees and other certificates while still at post.
"Distance learning programmes would be encouraged for teachers and they will equally be motivated with the needed incentives to learn and teach at the same time," he stated.
The outgoing President of the Union, Mr Djan Augustine disclosed that BASU had got 430 computers and accessories from some charitable organisations in the United States to be distributed to schools in the region.
He said 26,000 dollars was needed to cover the administrative and freight charges and appealed to District Assemblies in the region, Non-governmental Organisations, religious bodies and opinion leaders and philanthropists for assistance.
The new President, Mr Hinneh Barnabs urged citizens of the region to support the Union to carry out its objective of making education a priority. He paid tribute to the Dormaahene, Oseadeeyo Agyeman Badu for his contribution towards the growth of the Union. Dignitaries who attended the function included the Sunyani Municipal Chief Executive, Mr Ignatius Baffour Awuah and Mr J. Y. Appiah, Chairman of the Ghana League Clubs Association who was the chairman for the function.
An amount of eight million cedis was realised through an appeal for funds.