Government approves scholarships for students

Vice President John Dramani Mahama, on Wednesday announced that government had approved a total of GH¢2 million as scholarship for post graduate students in mathematics, science and technology.

The move, he said, was tailored to encourage students, especially girls, to venture into science, mathematics and technology which were previously considered as the preserve of boys.

Vice President Mahama announced this during the 17th Annual Best Teacher Awards at Takoradi, held under the theme: “Teachers for Gender Equality”.

In all, 84 teachers and non-teaching staff were awarded in 18 categories including primary, basic, junior high and senior high schools as well as science and mathematics among others.

The overall winner, Mr Joshua Abankwa Otoo, a 50-year old teacher at the Garden City Special School, Kumasi, who has taught for almost 23 years, won a three-bedroom house to be constructed at any location of his choice.

He was also presented with a laptop and a set of computer and accessories for his school.

Mrs Georgina Agblobiotse, a teacher at the University Practice School, Cape Coast, took home a double-deck pick up, a laptop and a set of computer and accessories for her school.

Miss Sedenam Agbkyie, the second runner up, a teacher at the Domedra Junior High School in the Afram Plains, received a saloon car as well as a laptop and a set of computer and accessories for her school.

Vice President Mahama said government had budgeted for GH¢50 million for the school feeding programme and the current one million beneficiaries would be increased to 1.5 million children by March 2012.

Government, he said, had also embarked on a re-targeting programme to include more schools that were deprived.

He added that government had drawn up a comprehensive programme to pay teachers all their retention allowances and arrears generated by the Single Spine Salary Structure and appealed to them to exercise restraint.

“Teachers are the bedrock and anchors of education and society and government will do everything possible to make them comfortable in their profession”.

The Vice President gave the assurance that teachers would at the end of the month receive two months arrears of their 15 percent retention allowance.

Mr Paul Evans Aidoo, Western Regional Minister, appealed to teachers to step up their teaching techniques to improve on this year’s junior and senior high school performance, which he said, was a pale shadow of past performances.

The Regional Minister gave the assurance that government would provide all the necessary assistance that would encourage teachers and other auxiliary staff to put up their best to reduce the illiteracy rate from the current 40 percent.

Mr Samuel Doe Alobuia, Acting National President of Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), called on the government to expedite action on the 20 percent allowances for teachers posted to deprived areas to encourage more teachers to accept posting to those areas.

Professor Louis Enu Kwesi of the University of Ghana, Legon, who chaired the function, said government should rehabilitate all obsolete education infrastructure and urged teachers who were posted to rural areas to be dedicated to their work and serve as role models to children.

Mr Joshua Abankwa Otoo, the overall best teacher, on behalf of the award winners, expressed gratitude to the government, Ministry of Education and sponsors for the honour done them.

He said hard work paid and urged his colleagues to work extra hard to win awards.

He said the award has served as a morale booster and they would work extra hard to win more laurels.

Source: GNA

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