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13.09.2005 Education

Ghanaians urged to pay more attention to education

By GhanaWeb Correspondent
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The National Co-ordinator of the Early Childhood Division of the Ghana Education Service (GES) Mrs. Margaret Okine, has called for greater involvement in the education of children, since the government alone cannot shoulder the huge cost of education. She said the quality of education that met the needs of the individual, the community and the nation would bring about greater awareness, higher productivity and wealth creation to reduce poverty. “It was in the context of the fundamental importance of education to national development that many countries, including Ghana, had given education a high priority in their development programme,” she said. Mrs. Margaret Okine was addressing an educator's workshop in Accra. The workshop brought together about 300 educators, comprising school heads, school teachers, school administrators, owners of montessoris, crèches and nurseries, as well as other stakeholders. They discussed the effective use of educational technology in the classroom. It was organized by e-toys & more, a leading supplier of children's interactive educational materials, in co-operation with the Ministry of Education and the GES. Mrs. Okine said one of the aims of initiating the Educational Reform Programme of 1998 and the Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education (FCUBE) in 1996 and the Government White Paper on the reforms was to give every Ghanaian child access to basic quality education. “Children have a right to live and to develop their full potential. This right was set forth in the United Nations Convention on the rights of the child in 1990,” she said. Mrs. Okine said education had been identified as the tool which empowered individuals to perform and contribute effectively towards national development. She said the Asian countries that had taken advantage of the new technologies had been able to attract foreign investment and expertise, while protecting their economies and firms over many decades from too much competition from abroad. “Ghana, as a nation, could learn from the Singaporean experience. Singapore is one of the world's smallest and most resource-poor nation, yet the ability of its government to channel revenue from the second largest port in the world into “wiring” every public housing project, schools and offices, has made the country the most successful adopter of new ICTs anywhere”, she said. Mr. George Sackey, Executive President of e-toys & more, said due to the huge impact of ICT, the world was quickly shifting from the traditional forms of teaching and learning and replacing them with modern forms and advised parents to help their children to be abreast with new technologies. According to him, such workshops created an excellent platform for effective teaching in schools and would be extended to other regions of the country to facilitate easy learning for children. He expressed gratitude to CAL Bank, Topaz Accounting and Cresta Royale Hotel for sponsoring the workshop. The Chief Executive Officer of Ishmael Yamson and Associates, Mr. Raymond Ackah, said most well-endowed schools had stopped caring for the children who had been entrusted in their care because of the fame they had achieved and the mark made and cautioned them to look out for emerging opportunities and different ways of interacting with the children and their parents. He said elements of performance in schools required a lot of effort, and doing the right things in order to be judged by the consumer, adding that for productivity to be measured, it must be done with humility.

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