It is undeniable fact that teachers have played and continue to play a major role in the human resource development of this country. All the current crop of politicians, academicians, business executives just to mention a few – all passed through the hands of teachers.
Without the teacher at the Basic and Senior High Schools (SHSs), this country cannot produce the needed human resource to manage the national economy. It is upon the basis of this, that the government decided to institute the National Teachers’ award to reward our hard working teachers at the pre-tertiary level.
Much as this policy of rewarding teachers by the government is commendable, it is impossible for the government of the day to appreciate the good works of all teachers across the country. In other words, the award scheme for teachers to get national recognition is so competitive that only a few of the teachers will be rewarded.
The best way to address this problem is for the government to decentralise the award scheme, where each district, municipal and metropolitan assemblies are allowed to reward teachers in their local area.
In our opinion, therefore, this huge gap that has been created can only be filled by the private sector, which also benefits from the fruits of our hard working teachers.
It is in the light of the above that The Chronicle is happy that the Member of Parliament for Tarkwa-Nsueam, Mr Mireku Duker, has taken it upon himself to reward teachers in his constituency.
A story The Chronicle carried yesterday indicated that he has instituted an award scheme to reward hard working teachers in the Tarkwa-Nsueam municipality.
The award scheme started last year and this year, the winner was given a brand new salon car, worth $14,500. A total of nineteen teachers received various awards, ranging from Chest Freezer, 50 inch LED Television and Citations.
This is no doubt a laudable initiative and The Chronicle is happy with the bold statement from the Legislator that the award has come to stay in the constituency.
As noted by Mr Mireku Duker, promoting quality education should not involve only the construction of modern buildings and providing learning materials. We also need to take into consideration the welfare of the teacher, who is going to mould the children into future leaders.
Despite billions of dollars that Ghana as a country continues to sink into education, most parents aspire to send their children to private schools, which appear to perform far better than the public sector schools. Interestingly, most of the teachers in these private schools are not even trained, yet they are performing better than the trained ones in the public schools.
This, we believe, boils down to supervision and motivation of teachers in the private schools. If this is the reality on the ground, it confirms our position that promoting quality education does not lie in the provision of infrastructure alone, but also taking care of the welfare of the teacher.
It is the hope of The Chronicle that corporate bodies and individuals will emulate the example Mr Mireku Duker has set in Tarkwa-Nsueam by instituting similar schemes in their areas of operation to motivate teachers to give off their best.
This is the only way we can help to improve on the quality of education in the country.