27.04.2005 Education

Falling education standards blamed on....

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... poor remuneration, indecent accommodation for teachers Hohoe, April 27, GNA - Teacher related problems, including poor remuneration and decent accommodation continue to militate against the realisation of quality education in the country.

Mr Joseph K. Benyingi, Vice-Chairman of the Volta Regional Branch of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), who made the remark at the Second Quadrennial Hohoe District Conference of GNAT at Hohoe on Tuesday said even though government and its development partners were making frantic efforts to address the situation, much more needed to be done.

The one-day conference, which attracted 102 delegates in the District, was under the theme: "The challenge to the provision of quality education in Ghana - Hohoe District in perspective". Mr Benyingi said quality education entailed effective monitoring and appraisal strategy, finance, input, infrastructure, citing of schools and what become of the products of the school system. He suggested that teachers' remuneration should be critically and positively reconsidered to enable them to provide quality education. Mr Benyingi noted that a teacher's life even worsened when he retired and urged teachers to "pray that a regime will come and be fair to workers such that on the day one retires, one's cheque will be ready".

He urged the Ghana Education Service (GES) to provide promptly all inputs that would facilitate quality teaching and learning while entreating parents to play an increasing role in supervising their children at home.

He appealed to teachers to demonstrate circumspection in their language saying: "We should not be vulgar, uncouth in our speech". Mr Veni M. Demanya, Volta Regional Secretary of GNAT urged teachers to carry their destinies in their hands and asked delegates to suggest through resolutions and motions on activities and projects which would make them self-reliant.

He said membership of GNAT continues to grow and that it was time to shift focus from governmental support to self-sustenance and socio-economic independence.

On HIV/AIDS, Mr Demanya announced that GNAT would soon embark on HIV sensitisation seminars for members in the 15 districts in the Region in line with its "towards a comfortable retirement awareness programme" to educate members on the inherent dangers of the pandemic which had no known cure.

He recounted how in Zambia, deaths caused by the disease to teachers was equivalent to half the total number of newly trained teachers, stressing that though they did not have statistics in Ghana, indications were there.

Mrs Christine Searyoh, Hohoe District Director of Education urged the GES to resolve now to eschew all negative tendencies including laziness, drunkenness, absenteeism and malingering and work harder to regain their lost image.

She entreated teachers to live within their financial means and be wary about loans they contracted as well as items they credited, saying these and other acts had the tendency to affect academic standards in schools.

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