Kumasi, Oct 4, GNA – Dr Thomas A. Bediako, former Chief Coordinator of Education International, African Region, has stressed the need for active involvement and participation of teachers in educational policy reforms and planning at all levels.
This was necessary to ensure that their needs were included in new policy directions.
He noted that academic and policy debates as well as instructions had often tended to focus on teachers’ deficiencies and seldom took into account the difficulties they faced.
Dr Bediako, who was also a former General Secretary of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), was speaking at an awards ceremony organized by the Ashanti Regional Secretariat of GNAT, to honour some of its members.
It was in recognition of their singular contribution towards the promotion of the activities of the Association and the teaching profession in the region.
Eleven (11) personalities both in active service and retirement were rewarded with prizes, including laptops, table top refrigerators, television sets and citation.
This comes ahead of the 18th national best teacher awards fixed for Kumasi.
Dr Bediako said teachers’ participation in the development and implementation of educational policies should be enhanced and extended to other areas of human endeavour.
He asked individual teachers and teacher organizations to strive to get their communities and local authorities to recognize their fundamental importance in ensuring effectiveness of new education reforms.
He expressed discomfort with what he said were the fragile and declining nature of teachers’ motivation in the country.
He suggested that teachers’ motivation should not be in monetary form alone.
“It is essential for educational authorities to improve practice around administration management and quality of remuneration as they are key factors in teacher motivation.”
He said the success of the educational system should not be measured based only on examination results or achievements.
“The school should be an institution for educating children, place where organized and sustained interaction is built between teachers and learners to bring about good behaviour, knowledge, understanding skills of capabilities.”
“Our success should, therefore, not be measured only by understanding skills or capabilities. Our success should be measured also in the quality of lives of our products.
“They should be self reliant and independent, less dependent on society for living. Let us produce men and women of sellers and not buyers. We need sleeping houses not petty trading.”
He called on teachers to continue their struggle for unity, quality education, improved salaries and conditions of service.
Mr Joseph Kwabena Onyinah, the Regional Education Director, reminded teachers of their importance in society and said that had given them international and local recognition culminating in the institution of the best teachers’ awards.
Mr Awotwe Nkansah, Deputy General Secretary of GNAT in charge Administration and Labour Relations, expressed concern about the continued physical attacks on teachers and called for a stop.
He said teachers were prepared to work and called on the Ghana Education Service (GES) to provide the needed logistics and resources.