Mampong (Ash), Jan 06, GNA - The Inspectorate Directorate of the Ghana Education Service (GES) is to be turned into the external teacher supervisory body of the Ministry of Education and Sports (MOES) next year.
Consequently, the directorate would assume a more responsive role of ensuring teacher discipline, high professional conduct and standards. Mr Kwame Ampofo-Twumasi, the Deputy Minister of MOES, said this at Asante-Mampong on Thursday during the matriculation of pupil teachers who have been admitted to pursue the Untrained Teacher Training Diploma in Basic Education (UTTDBE) programme.
The 591 teachers were drawn from the Sekyere West and Nkoranza districts of Ashanti and Brong-Ahafo regions.
Mr Ampofo-Twumasi said gone are the days when "people can say once a teacher, always a teacher and think they can get away with all forms of unprofessional behaviour".
He said the UTTDBE programme falls within the government's long-term goal of developing the human resource base for rapid socio-economic development. Mr Ampofo-Twumasi urged the trainees to put in their best as their contribution towards moving the country out of its present socio-economic predicament and pledged the support of the government for the success of the programme.
Mr Haruna Oppong-Boateng, the Sekyere West District Chief Executive, said the aim of the nationwide programme was to substantially reduce the large number of untrained teachers at the basic level. He said by 2006, about 60 per cent of the more than 24,000 pupil teachers nationwide would have been enrolled to pursue the four-year distance-learning programme. The DCE said besides improving upon the quality of education at the basic school level, the programme was also designed to advance the personal and professional qualities of trainees. Mr Oppong-Boateng commended the trainees for the sacrificial role they have played and continue to play in efforts to provide education in the rural communities.
"You are the category of teachers who readily accept postings to remote, deprived and disadvantaged areas of the country to cater for the teaching of our children", he said, pledging the support of the assembly for the programme to succeed. The UTTDBE programme for untrained teachers is a four-year teacher training programme based on the three-year residential teacher training colleges curriculum.
Participants would be expected to go through the programme through distance learning while at post, school-based professional development and periodic residential face-to-face meetings. The trainees have been affiliated to the Mampong Technical Teacher's College.