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14.08.2005 Education

Give priory to technical education- Lecturer


Sunyani (B/A), Aug. 14, GNA - Professor Kwasi Ansu-Kyeremeh, a Lecturer at the School of Communication Studies, Legon-Accra has expressed concern about the way the planners of Ghana's education gave priority to grammar education at the expense of technical education. Prof Ansu-Kyeremeh said any scientific planning by the nation aimed at trying to catch up with the global community in terms of development might not be feasible without showing interest in technical educational set-up.

He was delivering a keynote address at the Second Quadrennial Conference of the Brong-Ahafo Regional Branch of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) at Sunyani over the weekend. The theme for the conference four-day conference being attended by 276 delegates and 10 observers is: "Education, Master Key to Poverty Alleviation."

Giving figures to explain his assertion, Prof. Ansu-Kyeremeh said at the moment, Ghana has 474 grammar or senior secondary schools as against 23 technical institutions, saying something serious is needed to be done to help the nation achieve her much needed developmental programmes.

There is the need to raise technical education than magnifying it, he stressed and also suggested the need for establishing all-girls technical school in the country.

Talking on quality education, Prof. Ansu-Kyeremeh expressed concern about the system of administration whereby experienced classroom teachers were taking away to office to handle administrative works after their promotion.

Such teachers, he said, should be allowed to remain in the classroom to teach after their promotion so that they could continue to impart their rich knowledge to their pupils and students.

Prof. Ansu-Kyeremeh said he was moved by the performance of Master Samuel Hinneh, 12-year-old Primary Five pupil of Odomase Methodist school and Ms Gloria Awuah, a form two Junior Secondary School (JSS) student of Odomase Urban Council for their wonderful performance exhibited during a cultural display with the "Okyeremah" Atumpan drumming and poetry recital respectively to welcome him to the podium to deliver his keynote address.

He said such drum language performance of the two children was the methodology of training children in the Ghanaian society before school system was introduced and commended the two children, especially Master Hinneh for the powerful memory that made him to remember what he was trained to do, not forgetting the teacher who trained him on the drums.

Mr. Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, the deputy Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister complained about the unacceptable behaviours of some teachers under the umbrella of the Association, saying such negative behaviours did not auger well for the teaching profession in particular and the nation as a whole and should be discontinued.

He listed such unacceptable behaviours as drunkenness, teachers who deliberately failed to complete their syllabuses because they would like to organise private classes for students for a fee, difficult, uncooperative and rebellious teachers who would go to any extent to incite students to riot against school authorities as part of contributions which had led to the fall

in the standard of education and student's unrest in the schools. Mr. Baffour-Awuah appealed to teachers to abide by the new Labour Act 2003 (Act 651) and settle any dispute between them and their employers.

"Negotiation, mutual respect, tolerance and consensus have always triumphed over arm twisting, bravado and flagrant disrespect for authority", he emphasized.

The deputy Regional Minister also appealed to the teachers to use the forum to thoroughly look into the issue of laying down their tools in the pursuance of what they considered to be their rights to the detriment of the communities they served and the nation as a whole. He assured teachers that the doors of the government was always opened for dialogue and no group of workers should shy away from "this open door policy in resolving any differences, either directly or through the Labour Commission."

In a message read on her behalf, Ms. Portia Molly Anafo, acting National President of GNAT commended members of the association for remaining resolute in the face of threats and other acrimonious activities of "our detractors."

Ms Anafo said there was the need to reposition the Association for the challenges ahead of the teaching profession during the next five years, saying, "this calls for the review of our Development Plan to make it proactive."

We need to take stock of our operations particularly in the face of the competition that we now face in the wake of the formation of a rival teacher organization, she said.

She reminded the teachers of the education sector review and implications for member teachers, adding that, under the upgrading of teacher training programme, the minimum qualification of the professional teacher in future will be diploma in basic education. The acting national president of GNAT said if the information reaching the association was anything to go by, under the education sector review a top-up programme would be organised in 2007 geared toward the award of diploma in basic education for teachers who did not have either a diploma or a degree or such serving Certificate 'A' teachers.

She reiterated the Association's call on the Ministry of Education and Sports to take another look at the operation of the Distance Education Programme and make it more teacher-friendly by overhauling the programme and went to the extent to urge the Ministry to take the first of such over-hauling steps during the 2005/2006 academic year. Ms Anafo commended the Pension Commission for completing the its work within the scheduled period and called on the Government to publicise the highlights of the interim report and generate further discussion to facilitate a strategy towards implementing the recommendation in the Report

She also talked about improvement of the work environment, delayed emoluments, poor school environment and living accommodation, delivery of education inputs, non-competitive remuneration, the image of the teacher among others.

Madam Akua Akubuor Debrah, Brong-Ahafo Regional Director of the Ghana Education Service (GES), chaired the opening ceremony.