Government committed to improve welfare of teachers-Bawumia

Accra- The Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, on Friday assured teachers that the Government is fully committed to their welfare and that it would avail itself for frank discussions on making improvements on their wellbeing.

He also urged corporate entities to support the Government’s efforts in empowering teachers to deliver quality learning outcomes, saying; We cannot entrust our children in their care and then disregard the value of what they bring to bear on their lives.

We must resolve to rally behind our noble teachers. Let us empower them to bring true meaning to this challenging, yet noble business of developing human capacities, Ultimately, Ghana will be the winner, the Vice President stated.

He said the Government had been able to offer admission to 180,000 youth, who had completed Junior High Schools, and also in the process of recruiting over 8,000 teachers to meet the teaching needs of the country.

Vice President Bawumia made these remarks at this year’s Ghana Teacher Prize Awards and 24th edition of the World Teachers Day held at the Presbyterian Boys Senior High School in Accra, on Friday.

The Ghana Teacher Prize 2018 is the maiden version as the rebranded National Best Teacher Awards, with an international standard as the new benchmark, and had the theme: The Right to Education Means the Right to a Qualified Teacher.

This year’s event was jointly organized by the National Teaching Council and the Ghana Education Service, which brought together key stakeholders in the education sector, including teachers, teacher unions, sponsors and students.

Vice President Bawumia said teachers were not only imparting knowledge, but also shaping the moral character of the people to becoming responsible citizens and assured of government’s commitment to safeguard their welfare.

The government of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is fully committed to undertaking several reforms in our education sector to ensure that the education we’re providing for our children is fit for purpose and is able to deliver quality education outcomes, the Vice President assured.

He acknowledged that no country could embark on the path of quality education for its citizens for national development without the teacher as an important part of that framework.

He said, upon the introduction of the Free SHS programme in September 2017 and the restoration of teacher trainee allowance, government started undertaking wide reforms to equip teachers with the right tools to ensure that they deliver quality learning outcomes in consonance with its mantra Teacher First.

The Vice President said the Government was upgrading all Colleges of Education to university colleges in collaboration with the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development, through the Transforming Teacher Education and Learning (T-TEL) programme.

Our aim is to upgrade capacity and improve upon the quality of teacher training to position our teachers to be able to respond to our education need as a country, he stated.

The Vice President made reference to the successful conduct of the maiden teacher licensure examination organised by the National Teaching Council (NTC), saying that, the exercise was aimed at ensuring that candidates acquire professional licences and prepare them to meet the demands of the National Teaching Standards of possessing the minimum knowledge, skills, value and attitudes necessary to deliver effective learning outcomes.

Government is aware that no matter its best intention, the double track system will not be successfully executed and produce the desired results without the teacher.

We have had meaningful engagements with the various teacher unions on the double track system, in all these engagements, the interest of the teacher has been primary, Dr Bawumia emphasised.

Mr Nicolas Mawunyo Gborse, an English and History Tutor at the Bishop Herman College, Kpando, in the Volta Region was adjudged Ghana’s Most Outstanding Teacher.

He received a three-bedroom house worth GH 180,000, GH 500,000 life insurance package from SIC life and a certificate.

Ms Augusta Lartey-Young, an English Tutor at the Presbyterian Boys Senior High School, Legon, in the Greater Accra Region was the First Runner-Up and took home a 4×4 Pick-Up worth GH 130,000 and GH 300,000 life insurance package and a certificate, while Mr Owusu Antepim, a Mathematics Tutor at Nsutaman Catholic Senior High School in the Ashanti Region was the Second Runner-Up and went with a saloon car, GH 200,000 life insurance package and a certificate.

In all, 13 awards were given to teachers and non-teaching staff from the basic to the second cycle educational institutions, both public and private institutions, for their meritorious contribution to national development.

The award winners took home assorted items including refrigerators, laptops, flat screen televisions, cash prizes and certificates.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Mainstream gender equity- Prof Dzisi

Koforidua- The Koforidua Technical University (KTU) is promoting gender equity and equality in science and technology education.

The University had been encouraging more female faculty members and students to enrol in science and technology based subjects.

This was disclosed by the Vice Chancellor of the KTU, Prof. (Mrs) Smile Gavua Dzisi at the 14th Congregation of the University at Koforidua.

In all 1,797 students of various disciplines graduated.

She explained that equal opportunities for men and women were key to sustainable development of any nation.

Prof. Dzisi said the Gender Office of the University in collaboration with Women in Technology Education Development (WITED) had undertaken several activities to dramatically improve female enrolment in the male dominated disciplines in the University.

Prof. Dzisi said last year, the University offered scholarships to nine female students in science and technology disciplines.

She said the University would offer ten scholarships to ten brilliant female students in the male dominated science and technology disciplines this academic year.

She explained that the aim of the University was to attain gender parity within the shortest possible time.

Prof. Dzisi said in February this year, the University supported by the Commonwealth of Learning conducted a gender score card audit to mainstream gender in the University.

She said KTU also organized five-day Women in Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) leadership workshop to build leadership capacity among senior women leaders in all technical universities and polytechnics in Ghana.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Akatsi South triggering more communities for ODF status

Akatsi (VR)- The Akatsi South District Assembly is planning to trigger more communities in the District in a bid to be declared an Open Defecation Free (ODF) District.

The Assembly ranks highest, both regional and national, in the Government of Ghana (GoG)-United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) interim Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) report, having declared 16 communities with 236 households ODF.

GoG-UNICEF is implementing a behavioral change strategy in the form of a social norm to improve sanitation and hand washing behaviours, based on CLTS as the primary strategy that recognises the need to move from a culture of dependence, based on subsidies, to a behavioural change approach where people choose to stop open defecation.

During a media interaction with key players in the District and some communities on their success story, Mr. Nathaniel Dzadey, the District Coordinating Director, said we owned the programme and supported the implementation with logistics.

He said with funding from UNICEF, they were able to trigger ten additional communities for the last quarter of this year and expressed the hope to do more with additional funding.

Mr. Dzadey said to ensure the success of the programme; the Assembly enforced its sanitation bye-laws and fined four people this year.

Mr. Emmanuel Adei, Communication Consultant, UNICEF, advised the Assembly to employ the services of the mass media to trigger more communities to be ODF.

He said the message must go beyond community entries to the people wanting to implement the programme on their own.

Mr. Adei said though ODF rode on the back of CLTS, it needed to use mass media and enforcement to achieve the target.

In a visit to Biedokope and Kpodokope, both farming communities and two of the declared ODF communities, they attested to a reduction in cholera and diarrhea cases especially among children after being declared ODF.

They said they formed youth groups which helped households construct toilet facilities and fined people who defecated in the open as a deterrent.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Akatsi South triggering more communities for ODF status

Akatsi (VR)- The Akatsi South District Assembly is planning to trigger more communities in the District in a bid to be declared an Open Defecation Free (ODF) District.

The Assembly ranks highest, both regional and national, in the Government of Ghana (GoG)-United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) interim Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) report, having declared 16 communities with 236 households ODF.

GoG-UNICEF is implementing a behavioral change strategy in the form of a social norm to improve sanitation and hand washing behaviours, based on CLTS as the primary strategy that recognises the need to move from a culture of dependence, based on subsidies, to a behavioural change approach where people choose to stop open defecation.

During a media interaction with key players in the District and some communities on their success story, Mr. Nathaniel Dzadey, the District Coordinating Director, said we owned the programme and supported the implementation with logistics.

He said with funding from UNICEF, they were able to trigger ten additional communities for the last quarter of this year and expressed the hope to do more with additional funding.

Mr. Dzadey said to ensure the success of the programme; the Assembly enforced its sanitation bye-laws and fined four people this year.

Mr. Emmanuel Adei, Communication Consultant, UNICEF, advised the Assembly to employ the services of the mass media to trigger more communities to be ODF.

He said the message must go beyond community entries to the people wanting to implement the programme on their own.

Mr. Adei said though ODF rode on the back of CLTS, it needed to use mass media and enforcement to achieve the target.

In a visit to Biedokope and Kpodokope, both farming communities and two of the declared ODF communities, they attested to a reduction in cholera and diarrhea cases especially among children after being declared ODF.

They said they formed youth groups which helped households construct toilet facilities and fined people who defecated in the open as a deterrent.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Journalists urged to protect rights of lesbians and homosexuals

Kumasi- Journalists have been urged to help protect and defend the fundamental human rights and freedoms of lesbians and homosexuals, as enshrined in the 1992 constitution.

Mr. William Nyarko, the Executive Director of the Africa Center for International Law and Accountability (ACILA), an NGO, said the Constitution guarantees the rights and freedoms of every Ghanaian including lesbians and homosexuals.

We must know how to separate the act from the rights, he stated, saying abusing the rights of lesbians and homosexuals was a breach of the supreme law of the land.

Mr. Nyarko gave the advice when interacting with Journalists at separate training workshops in Sunyani, and Kumasi, organised by ACILA, an organisation incorporated under the United States Law to advocate accountability and justice for victims of crimes.

Forty-five selected Journalists from Ashanti and Brong-Ahafo Regions benefited from the training in Kumasi, whilst 30 news editors and radio presenters benefited from the Sunyani one.

The workshop was aimed at improving the reporting skills of the participants on human rights, and they were taken through topics such as international human rights conventions and key human rights abuses and discrimination.

Mr. Nyarko strongly condemned same sex marriage, which he said was against the Ghanaian culture, but added that lesbians and homosexuals also had the right to movement, life and to form association.

He underscored the need to empower and expose Journalists and media practitioners in general to basic human rights laws and conventions to enable them to serve as the voice for the voiceless.

Human rights abuse, Mr. Nyarko said remained a serious form of crime against humanity, hence the need for the media to be trained in the subject, in order not to use their pens and airwaves to stigmatise victims in the course of their constitutional duties.

ACILA, he added works to protect vulnerable people such as girls, women, children, albinos, lesbian, homosexuals and people with disabilities.

Source: Ghana News Agency