Faustina Gyeketey is National Best Teacher
Faustina Gyeketey is National Best Teacher Website
Tamale, Oct.5, GNA- Madam Faustina Gyeketey, a 30-year-old English teacher at the Obokrom Junior High School (JHS) in the Central Region, has won the overall national "Best Teacher Award" for 2007. For her prize, she is to have a 400 million-cedi house to be built at a place of her choice. The award ceremony, which took place at the Tamale Jubilee Park, was on the theme: "Quality education: Teacher participation in the new education reform". Madam Victoria Mwalibie, a blind teacher at the School for the Blind in Wa and Mr. Issah Ibrahim Shaibu, an Information Communication Technology (ICT) Coordinator at the Wa Senior High School, were the first and second runners up respectively. Madam Mwalibie took home a Peugeot saloon car valued at 18,000 Euros and a computer, while Mr. Shaibu also received a 16,000- Euro Peugeot saloon car and a computer. In an address read on his behalf by his Chief Adviser, Mrs. Mary Chinery-Hesse, President John Agyekum Kufuor admonished teachers to desist from acts that undermine the ethics and standards of their noble profession. He said recent reports of increasing teacher absenteeism, abuse of pupils and unwillingness to accept postings to deprived communities were a blot on the profession and had eroded the respect and confidence that people had for teachers. "This day must therefore serve as a time for sober reflection and a pledge by teachers engaged in these acts to change for the better", the President said. On the theme for the occasion, President Kufuor stated that teachers were the heart beat of the new educational reform, noting that for the programme to achieve its objective the country needed a highly skilled, technologically advanced and dynamic work force to fuel it. President Kufuor said the central status of the teacher in fulfilling the educational reform could not be overemphasized adding: "Quality education is not achieved by the mere availability of classrooms, textbooks and other teaching and learning materials. "It is rather the ingenuity, dedication and commitment of a teacher that will result in the development of a responsible, disciplined and a national oriented citizenry with requisite knowledge, skills, values, aptitudes and attitudes to become functional and productive". President Kufuor said it was to upgrade the skills and update the knowledge of teachers that the Ghana Education Service (GES) and the teacher training universities introduced distance learning and sandwich programmes. He said it was in pursuance of the same aims that Teacher Training Colleges had been revamped with the first batch of students to benefit from the enhanced training colleges had graduated and have just started their career. He said the GES in collaboration with the University of Cape Coast had instituted upgrading programmes for all basic schoolteachers including untrained teachers. President Kufuor said currently 21,788 serving untrained teachers and 11,000 serving Certificate "A" teachers in basic schools had enrolled in the Diploma in Basic Education (DBE) programme by the distance and sandwich programmes being run in the teacher training colleges. He said since the reforms place emphasis on laying a sound foundation for the teaching and learning of Mathematics, Science and Technology in the basic schools, 15 existing teacher-training colleges had been designated to run enhanced science and mathematics programmes. Mr. Joseph Kwaku Adjei, National President of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) called on the GES and the government to create better learning environments for teachers and pupils by modernizing schools and reducing class sizes. He appealed to the government to resolve the issue about deductions in salaries of some teachers, which had been termed as "Recovery of tax arrears and overpayment loan recovery". He said that some teachers have had their salaries deducted up to amounts such as 1.5 million cedis and therefore called on the government to take steps to correct the situation to forestall any embarrassing occurrence.