The Ministry Of Education has invited 10 teachers nominated from across the country to receive honours and awards in the 2018 National Best Teacher Awards ceremony slated for October 5, 2018.
The invitation encompasses a pre-symposium before the awards ceremony where nominees would be urged to motivate other teachers with their life stories as teachers; and what increased their chances of being nominated for the awards.
Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh, the Minister of Education told the nominees that the government believed the teacher is the central drive and most important tool in the progress of education and therefore, would not rest until all teachers stand out proud of their profession.
He said: Had it not been for a teacher, some of us wouldn’t be here and personally, I wouldn’t have been a doctor if not for a teacher. That is why I’m always privileged when I meet my teachers and I hope every Ghanaian will find personal attachment to appreciate having been taught by a teacher”.
He said the establishment of the National Teaching Council was for teachers to regulate their own affairs and shape their conducts and not for the government to regulate the affairs for them, adding that, “teachers know better qualities that make a good teacher.”
However, he expressed worry over why the Council had not worked on creating a ‘Regulatory Council’ to enforce discipline in the Association.
“Sometimes, teachers compare themselves to Nurses and Midwives, Lawyers, Architects, Accountants, however, all those bodies have Regulating Councils that enhance discipline and that is why there are sometimes challenges in relation to the conduct of teachers in school across the country”, he added.
He said it was not possible for an owner of a private hospital to employ a non-doctor to play the role of a doctor, however, it was easy for an owner of a private school to employ someone without the training to teach in his or her school adding that it was because there was no Regulatory Council managing the affairs of teachers.
The Minister noted that the Sector anticipated that the awards ceremony would improve the capacity of transforming colleges of education into awarding their students with degree honours and thereby preventing teachers from having to go through stress of doing distant courses and top ups.
Dr Opoku Prempeh said the Sector hoped to improve on the motivation of the awardees through the annual ceremony to encourage teachers to work passionately for the development of the entire nation.
Mrs Elizabeth Wyns-Dogbe, Managing Director of SIC Life Company Limited, a traditional partway sponsor of the National Best Teacher Awards said the Company had allocated a GH¢1,000,000.00 life insurance cover for the best three teacher awardees with a breakdown of GH¢500, 000.00 for the overall best teacher; GH¢300,000.00 for the first runner up and GH¢200,000.00 for the second runner up.
She said the insurance package would be extended to cover deaths resulting from accidents or illness; total disability resulting from accident or illness and critical illness including stroke, cancer, and kidney problems.
Mrs Wyns-Dogbe said the Company would also provide 24 double door fridges to the winners, 250 branded polo shirts, 200 branded round neck shirts and 50 branded baseball caps to the awardees and attendees.
Dr Evelyn Oduro, Executive Secretary of the National Teaching Council said the award year had been competitive and the nominees had to use an online process in sending their stories and profile to the authorities in charge for scrutiny.
She noted that the use of the online process was more convenient, some nominees had challenges due to poor internet connectivity in some parts of the country.
Dr Oduro noted that the emerging best teachers would serve as Ambassadors of the Profession to encourage other teachers across the country in giving their best to promote excellence in education nationwide.