President Nana Akufo-Addo on Saturday said his government would pay special attention to the professional development of teachers as the nation marches heads towards development.
He said teachers were the key change agents needed for the acceleration of the transformative change programmes of his government, thus his administration would ensure that the Ghanaian teachers become pivotal in the development agenda of the country.
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President Akufo-Addo said this at the second session of the 21st congregation of the University of Education Winneba (UEW), at which some 10,587 students graduated from the University at various levels.
The number comprised 6,644 and 3,943 graduands from the Northern and Southern sectors of the University respectively.
The total figure is made up of 904 postgraduate, 6,000 bachelor’s degrees and 3,675 diploma awards. Out of the lot, 1,464 have been certified as professional teachers in various fields of expertise.
Touching on the critical importance of teachers of developing the competencies of teachers, the President explained that the economic success of most modern societies was inter-related with the professional role of teachers and education in general.
“Almost all modern, successful societies that have had outstanding results in training and economic development such as Singapore, Finland, Korea and Canada have shown that teacher quality is the single most important determinant of their successes.
“For us also to make a success of our nation, we must pay attention to teachers. It is only a crop of well-trained, self-confident and contented teachers that can deliver the educated and skilled workforce we require to transform our economy,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo said Government intends to restore the teaching profession to the status it once enjoyed, and make it an attractive career choice.
He said teaching should no longer be seen as a stop-gap measure or a job of last resort, but as a viable choice to enter a well-paid, well-respected profession with long term career prospects and good benefits.
Accordingly, government, he said, intends to facilitate teacher training nationwide, as well as institute special incentives for them, such as support for teachers to acquire their own homes.
The President said in line with the policy to motivate teachers and reward their hard work in the classroom, government would also support teachers to enroll in Distance Education programmes to boost their capacity.
It is for this reason that government, he said, would from September 2017, re-introduce the teacher training allowance that was revoked by the previous government.
The President said government, as a policy measure, would partner and support the UEW, as well as all the other public Universities in the country, to raise and improving standards to enable them to compete with the best on the Continent.
He was hopeful that Ghanaian universities would be ranked amongst the top 10 on the continent after the many interventions being made, saying, “This is not beyond us to achieve, and my government will ensure that universities are equipped with the requisite logistics and guarantee that lecturers are well motivated to achieve this feat.”