Goldfields Tarkwa Mine has held its maiden Teachers Awards ceremony aimed at honouring teachers in schools in the company’s catchment area, for their contribution to the development of education and national growth.
As part of the annual event, 30 teachers and two circuit supervisors were presented with awards, which are also aimed at motivating teachers in the zone to give of their best.
The event forms part of the company’s annual education sector social responsibility programme in which dozens of students have been offered scholarships.
Among other prizes, the teachers were given fridges, flat screen television sets, gas cookers and micro waves, while each of the schools were given mini polytank for handwashing.
Mr George Hagan, acting General Manager of Gold Fields Ghana Limited-Tarkwa Mine, addressing the stakeholders at the event, said the company’s programme has helped to enhance access to quality education for children in its host communities.
He said about 1000 students in the area have benefited from the company’s scholarship scheme since 2005, adding “for 2016/2017 academic year, a total of 150 students will be given scholarships and bursaries”.
Also, he said 64 teachers were supported with about 33,500 dollars, leaving about 181 teachers who were equally working hard in remote areas.
Mr Hagan said due to the many hardworking teachers who could not be supported, the programme was reviewed to cover more teachers in the host communities.
He commended the teachers for their dedication to service and support in the total development of the children, and assured them of more collaboration and support.
Ms Florence Ansere-Bioh, Community Affairs and Public Relations Manager of Gold Fields, said the company started the awards scheme by honouring two teachers from each school since 2012, but the scheme had to be restructured to cover more schools and teachers.
She said the Gold Fields Ghana Foundation has made the scheme competitive so as to encourage teachers to do more.
Dr Nana Adarkwa Bediako II, Gyaasehene of Apinto Divisional Council, who chaired the event,
commended the company for the initiative, which he said would immensely complement efforts towards promoting education in the catchment area.
He admonished the award winners against being complacent, but to allow the awards spur them to do more and win awards in subsequent years.
Touching on the scholarship scheme, the chief appealed to the company to find a way of considering and supporting needy pupils from schools in remote areas whose grades may not meet the scheme’s criteria, indicating that those ones truly need help.
Bilingual education for children advocated
Mrs Ama Atta Sagoe, Proprietress of Ecole Francaise, a private bilingual school in Cape Coast has admonished parents to invest in bilingual education for their children.
She said being bilingual offers young people a competitive edge to effectively operate in the present global environment.
Mrs Sagoe, who gave the advice at a media briefing ahead of the school’s fifth anniversary and Speech and Prize giving day celebration in Cape Coast, said being fluent in a second language opens up new opportunities especially in the job market.
The anniversary celebration, which is on the theme, “Significance of bilingual education in the 21st century,” is scheduled for December 16, 2016.
According to Mrs Sagoe, it was imperative for every Ghanaian to show interest in learning French as a second foreign language, adding that being bilingual or multilingual, promotes knowledge transfer in the areas of technology, science, culture and technical skills.
“These are tools of development,” she said.
Mrs Sagoe called for a review of the educational policies in Ghana to enhance teaching and learning of French in schools.
Touching on the event, she said the school which was established in 2012 with just four pupils could now boast of more than 300 pupils.
“Ecole Francaise is the only bilingual basic education institution in Cape Coast and the whole of the Central Region. We offer all the subjects under the Ghana Education Service (GES) curricula,” she said.
Some of the activities lined up for the anniversary celebration are a clean-up exercise, a donation to the children’s ward at the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital, and a walk through the principal streets of Cape Coast, with a grand speech and prize giving day to climax the celebration.