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08.09.2005 Education

Quality education still a priority of Govt - Veep


Takoradi, Sept. 8, GNA - Vice-President Alhaji Aliu Mahama has re-emphasised that, the provision of quality education would continue to be a priority of government because the power of knowledge, which is the essence of education had become more evident and pronounced in all human endeavours.

The government is also convinced that the development of the country's human resources through education holds the only key to develop and transform the present subsistence agriculture-based economy and society to an industrialised one.

These were contained in an address read for him by the Mr Joseph Boahen Aidoo, Western Regional Minister at the opening of the three-day national conference of the Ghana Association of Teachers of English (GATE) at Takoradi on Wednesday.

About 240 delegates are attending the conference, which has the theme: " Raising Educational Standard in Ghana Through a Strong GATE- The Way to the Heart of the Problem".

Vice-President Aliu Mahama noted that the extent to which the country would benefit from opportunities of the emerging information age would depend on the ability to develop and harness its human resources. These, he said, required the mastery of the English language, but noted with concern, "the non-too-impressive standard of performance in English, even by students of tertiary institutions".

"This situation impacts negatively on the standard of education, as a whole", Alhaji Aliu Mahama said, and called on GATE members to work hard to reverse the situation.

"Any further erosion in the quality of the language competence among our students will completely strangle our educational system", Vice-President Aliu Mahama warned.

He said since English continued to be the medium of instructions in schools and language for official business, it was within this perspective that the concern for the standard of English can best be appreciated.

The government had committed a lot of resources into the education sector, teachers are being offered many opportunities to "fine-tune" their skill, and he said and advised teachers to take full advantage of the opportunity to improve themselves.

Alhaji Aliu Mahama commended GATE members for producing textbooks and instructional materials that are being used in some schools. He advised members not to be complacent with the achievement but continue to collaborate their efforts with the government and other stakeholders to achieve the best education envisaged for the country. Mr Emmanuel Kojo Adika, Acting President of GATE noted that many youthful talents were being wasted because of poor performance in English in final examinations.

He called for a concerted effort to improve the performance in English at all levels of education, particularly at the SSSCE level. Mr Adika urged parents and guardians to inculcate in children the habit of reading and writing in English and said this was another way to arrest the situation.

He also appealed to the various district assemblies to provide libraries for schools and the communities.

Mrs Kafui Aku Fiakponoo, Regional Director of Education, who presided advised teachers to continue to give of their best in the efforts to improve education standards in the country without taking into consideration rewards.

"Whether our reward is here or in Heaven, we must continue to produce the much needed manpower resources for the nation and the World", she said.