The Ghana National Association Teachers (GNAT) has called on the government to prioritise policies that would improve the quality of education at the basic level.
The Association said for the country to produce the skilled and quality human resources to contribute effectively to the development of the nation, government should implement the right policies geared towards strengthening the education of the children at the foundation, especially at the basic levels of education.
Ms Gifty Apanbil, the Deputy General Secretary of Education and Professional Development of GNAT who said this on behalf of the Association said “we entreat government to give serious support to the foundation stage of education, that is, from Kindergarten to primary by ensuring the provision of child friendly infrastructure, qualified teachers, the supply of the right teaching and learning materials and the establishment of an incentive package for teachers to attract qualified and dedicated teachers to this sector”.
Ms Apanbil was speaking in Navrongo in the Upper East Region at the climax of teachers training workshop organised by the Association in collaboration with the Canadian Teachers Federation (CTF).
The week-long in-service training programme aimed at improving the teaching techniques of teachers and introducing them to innovative ways of improving quality education brought together 311 teachers including; 110 females and 201 males from the Primary, Junior High and Senior High Schools in the Upper East and Upper West Regions.
The 56th workshop garnered stakeholders in the educational sector including; the Ghana Education Service, Mr Rockson Bukari, the Upper East Regional Minister, retired educationists among others.
The Deputy General Secretary lamented the current educational structure and said it did not offer practical base knowledge to the pupils and students and called for stakeholder dialogue to device modalities to ensure total development of the children.
“As a country we need to set our education priorities right. At the moment our education is for certification rather than for the total development of the child.
“The Ghana Education Service needs to widen the assessment criteria for accessing learning outcomes of our students to include; practical skills. This will help to unearth the talents of every child and to prevent exclusion of children who are not academically good.” Ms Apanbil added.
Mr Kwame Ofori-Atta, the Deputy General Secretary of GNAT in charge of Finance stressed the need for government to incorporate quality into its long term development plans to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) particularly goal four which addresses quality education for all by 2030.
He further advocated a revisit of the educational curricula, especially at the basic level to focus more attention on agricultural science to attract the youth into the sector to improve productivity and ensure food security and a resilient economy.
The Regional Minister who commended GNAT and CTF for their efforts to improve the performance of teachers in the two regions stated that the programme was in line with government’s plans to provide professional license to teachers to improve academic work.
He disclosed that plans were far advanced to ensure that teachers were given the necessary training to produce quality human resources needed for the development of the country.
The participants were taken through basic school administration, improved teaching skills of the core subjects and gender issues, teacher promotion among others.
They were also awarded certificates for participating.