Keta, March 30, GNA - Forty-five hardworking and dedicated teachers and educational workers in first and second cycle schools in the Keta District were on Wednesday honoured at a ceremony to mark the 2003/2004 Keta District Best Teachers/Workers Award Day at the Keta Senior Secondary School.
The awards, which were presented by the Volta Regional Director of Education, Mr. S.D. Gyan to the winners, comprised one bundle aluminium roofing sheets each for the first position category, followed by one "Sharp" 20 inch TV sets each for the second category winners, while the third position category winners each went home with a gas cooker and a cylinder.
In his address, the Keta District Director of Education, Mr. Simon K. Dewotor, urged the teachers and workers to see themselves as agents of change through whom the quest for quality education could become a reality.
Mr. Dewotor, who is due to go on retirement next month, lamented that a few teachers had turned into black sheep, taking to drunkenness, perpetual lateness, laziness and truancy and could not discharge their duties effectively.
He said the District Directorate would leave no stone unturned to ensure that such teachers be flushed out of the system or face punitive measures to serve as deterrent to others.
Commenting on the hostile behaviour in some communities in the District, the District Director observed that some people went to the extent of defecating on teachers' tables or sacrificing entrails of animals on the school compounds and called on them to desist from such negative acts because they disrupt classroom activities.
Mr. Dewotor commended the award winners saying, they should be spurred on to greater challenges so that others, also would be encouraged to follow in their steps in a bid to lift up the sinking image of education in the District.
The Keta District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr. Edward Ahiabor noted that the importance of education as the bedrock of human and material development of any country could not be over-emphasised. He said it was in recognition of this fact that the government, through the district assemblies, the Ghana Education Service (GES) and the Ministry of Education was making every effort to provide the basic infrastructure and logistics to the schools to ensure a healthy environment for teaching and learning.
The DCE observed that the theme for the celebration: "Improving Education through Recognition," was an ample justification that the government had not been oblivious to the valuable contributions of teachers, workers, stakeholders and donors towards achieving quality education.
Mr. Ahiabor emphasised that the District Assembly had been working out possibilities of increasing its sponsorship scheme for teacher trainees from 80 in 2003/2004 academic season to 85 this year to stem the acute shortage of trained teachers in the District.
The chairperson for the occasion, Dr. (Mrs.) Matilda Fiadzigbe observed that quality education held the key to the eradication of abject poverty in our society and this had put the onus of responsibility on teachers to bring social and economic transformation of the entire country.
She said, "teachers need to be well resourced and motivated in the discharge of their duties," stressing, "the institution of the awards to honour hardworking and dedicated teachers was highly commendable."