Government has been called upon to expand the national best teacher award and the president’s special award schemes to cover private schools in order to make these schemes “nationally holistic”.
“There are equally best teachers in the private schools as well so they must all be given the opportunity to compete for the teacher’s award so that they can also be recognized nationally for their hard work in helping educate children of Ghana.
Dr Wisdom Kpehor, Director of Good Shepherd International School, in Accra made the call at the school’s 20th anniversary celebration held on Saturday on the theme: “Transforming life through Education; Your role, My Role”.
The school which started in 1992 with three children belonging to Dr Kpehor and his deceased Wife, Mavis, now has 400 pupils and 40 teachers.
Dr Kpehor said private schools still remained key players in the provision of quality education to children in the country so as government continues to roll out programmes to benefit public schools, considerations should be given o private schools and involve them in such packages.
He cited the capitation grants, school feeding programmes and free uniforms, being given to public schools to be extended to the private schools to lessen the burden of all parents in Ghana.
“The notion that it is only the rich parents who send their children to private school is not totally true. I know lots of people who struggle very had to ensure that they educate their children through the private schools”, Dr Kpehor noted.
He called on the government to waive corporate tax off private schools and provide other incentives to entice more people to venture into establishing more schools to support government efforts in providing basic education for all Ghanaian children.
The Director urged both teachers and parents to train children in the proper use of ICT technology to enhance teaching and learning instead of leaving the students to explore these “technological interventions negatively.”
He announced that the school intends establishing an education endowment fund in memory of the Mavis Kpehor to cater for brilliant but needy children, particularly, the girl-child.
Mr Seth Ayivi-Tosuh, Head of Distance Education, Teachers Education Division, Ghana Education Service, who represented the Minister of Education, Mr Lee Ocran, said education still remained a major priority of successive governments as various political parties currently campaigning for the 2012 elections are all giving much attention to educational programmes they wished to enroll should they win power.
“Indeed education addresses the manpower needs of a country, education eradicates poverty, education eradicates diseases, education reduces the indiscipline and the recklessness on our roads…in fact education teaches us to do away with some of the socio-cultural practices which hinder development”, Mr Ayiv-Tosuh indicated.
He therefore stressed the need for an educational policy that would stand the test of time in respective of which political party or government was in power. This would ensure consistency and reduce negative impact on children.
He advised students to continue to learn hard and become responsible adults who would take over the affairs of the country.
He expressed the Education Ministry’s commitment in partnering the private schools to provide quality education for children in Ghana.
Madam Shirley Ayorko Botchway, Member of Parliament for Weija, who is currently the Parliament candidate for Sowutuom/Anyaa, commended the school managers for the successes chalked in the facility’s 20 years of existence.
She advised the youth to avoid politicians who would want to “use you to cause mayhem or steal ballot boxes on election day”.