Teachers from the basic and second cycle institutions have expressed worry over President Nana Akufo-Addo’s ‘no show’ during teacher’s day celebrations for the 5th consecutive time.
Not only did the President not show up again, but the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, the Minister of Education, Dr. Yaw Adutwum, and the Director-General of the Ghana Education Service, Prof Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa, were all absent.
The President of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), Philipa Larson, wondered what could be attributed to his absence but said it sends the wrong message to the fraternity.
She remarked at the 2021 Ghana Teacher Prize to celebrate and award teachers for their contribution to the growth of the country at the Eusbett International Conference Center in Sunyani in the Bono Region.
The rebranded teacher award was under the theme; Teachers, Wanted: Reclaiming Teaching and Learning for a Human-Centered Recovery.
“Today 5th October worldwide, nothing should have gone on that would take our President away from us. We know Ghana is celebrating us, but without the President, we don’t feel the celebration the way we have to”, Philipa Larson lamented.
She continued, “This is the 5th time that he has been absent from our durbar to appreciate and congratulate the teacher, and we are not happy. His words were made known to us, but we wanted to see him in our midst. The Director-General of Education and Minister of Education are also not here”.
The GNAT President prays henceforth, all programs would be abandoned on the day of the world teacher’s day to enable the President of the Republic to celebrate the day with the gallant teachers.
She further appealed to the government to motivate teachers by implementing the agreed collective agreement as benefits, especially to teachers in the underserved areas.
Ebenezer Kojo Otoo of Winneba SHS in the Efutu Municipality of the Central Region was named as the overall best teacher for 2021 and was given a 3-bedroom house and assorted items worth 250,000 cedis as his prize.
Rev. Sister Jusinta Kwakyewaa of ST. Francis SHS Technical at Birim Central District in the Eastern Region was the first runner-up and received a 4X4 VW pick-up, while the second runner-up, Nelson Saviour Kwashie of Awutu Swinton SHS in the Awutu Senya District of the Central Region also went home with a VW saloon car.
In all, about eleven teachers, both teaching and non-teaching staff were awarded several prizes at the ceremony.
The overall best teacher, Ebenezer Kojo Otoo appealed for support for teachers and urged the government to recruit more teachers since the pupil-teacher ratio makes the handling of pupils very difficult.
The Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia in his speech, read by the Tourism Minister, Dr. Ibrahim Awal, expressed the government’s appreciation to teachers for their contribution amidst covid-19 and the free SHS policy.
He said the government is hoping to recruit over 40,000 teaching and non-teaching staff to further ease congestion in the schools.
He averred that the initiative would improve and make teaching and learning effective.