Opening the Eastern Regional Association of Teachers (GNAT) fourth quadrennial conference in Koforidua, she noted that the event, which was taking place nation-wide, was being held at a crucial time in the country’s history when concerns regarding achieving the Millennium Development Goals have become global issues.
“The most important of these goals for us in the education sector are development goals 02 and 03, which stresses on achieving Universal Primary Education and promoting gender equality and empowering women”.
Ms Ntoso said the target of those goals was to eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education and at all levels of education not later than 2015.
She indicated that Ghana must necessarily meet those goals and achieving them requires the full commitment of parents, teachers’ government and other stakeholders, “considering the fact that 2015 is just around the corner.”
Ms Ntoso said government had accepted the call on it to take Basic Education Delivery in the country to a higher level, adding “Accordingly, a number of policy interventions have been rolled out to ensure successful quality education and I am sure, as practicing teachers, you are quite aware of these interventions”.
She said in terms of infrastructure, logistics and accessibility, especially in the rural areas, more District Assemblies had been created, in addition to the previously existing ones, to enhance rapid development.
The Regional Minister indicated that all the assemblies had been mandated and empowered to provide school infrastructure in their communities, saying “currently, the government is directly providing school infrastructure in communities where children attend schools under trees”.
She said the government had decided to create 10 more Colleges of Education to train teachers, not only to make up for the shortfall but also to enhance quality and effective teaching.
Mrs Ntoso noted that government’s responsibility was not limited only to Basic Education but was equally concerned about Tertiary Education, hence its decision to establish a University in the Region with campuses at Yilo and Afram Plains Districts.
The day’s conference was on the theme “Education in crisis, the way forward”.