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24.05.2005 Education

African teachers pledge to ensure access to quality education for all

By GNA

Accra, May 24, GNA - Delegates at an Executive Board Meeting of Pan-African Teachers' Centre (PATC) in Accra on Tuesday expressed their commitment to ensure access to quality education in member countries. The two-day meeting of the autonomous Non-Governmental Educational Service Organisation attracted Secretary-Generals of teacher organisations from Ghana, Togo, Nigeria, Cote d'lvoire, Zimbabwe and Uganda.

PATC was established in 1991 to enhance the quality of public education for all and social development in Africa. It is also committed to develop the capacity of African teachers in their classrooms and as members of their teacher organisation through book development, provision of teacher and learning resource material and the promotion and provision of professional development, research and communication services.

Mr Thomas A. Bediako, Chairman, PATC, said the meeting discussed how to improve teaching and learning in Africa and guidelines for the implementation of PATC activities.

It also gave backing and funding to proposed research topics on HIV/AIDS among teachers and conditions of service from the Uganda National Teachers Union UNATU and the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT).

He said the PATC had had 74 programmes of activities over the past years and added that the board from April this year to March next year had approved another 25 programmes to run concurrently. The Chairman said priority would be given to Information Communication Technology (ICT) as an effective tool in addition to the black board and chalk method to enable teachers and students to be abreast with time.

"The challenges ahead are how to sustain our programmes and reduce reliance on donor support. This will not be easy and I urge my colleague board members to help achieve this goal," he said.

Mr Lawrence A. Kannae, Executive Director, said PATC had produced teaching and learning resource materials and had distributed them through member teacher organisations to deprived schools.

It has trained teachers particularly women in supplementary readers' writing skills and coordinated the selection of subject areas and topics for writing of supplementary books.

He noted that PATC had 40 titles to its credit with over 145,000 copies distributed to deprived schools.

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