The National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), has underscored the need for government to ensure that the country attains quality education status.
Speaking at the 11 National Delegate Conference of NAGRAT held in Bolgatanga, the President of NAGRAT, Mr Christian Addai-Poku, said Ghana’s commitment and performance in the Millennium Development Goals on education has been hailed by the international community for achieving an access rate of 96 per cent and completion rate of 70 per cent, but missed the quality education target.
He said whilst NAGRAT commends the government for the inclusion of quality education in the Sustainable Development Goals to be finalized in New York this year, there was the urgent need for the government to renew its commitment to funding a 21st century education in Ghana.
The President indicated that to help achieve quality education, there was the need for government to provide schools with modern teaching and learning materials such as projectors, markers, books and fly charts to enable the country to produce graduates who could compete with counterparts from across the world.
Mr. Addai-Poku said, for instance, a class four pupil in some countries such as Singapore, were capable of doing power point presentation.
He said overcrowding in classrooms and the poor sitting arrangements in the form of theatre are some of the challenges confronting the achievement of quality education in Ghana.
“It is equally important to ensure that adequate numbers of well-trained motivated teachers are posted to schools to help deliver quality education. Teachers should not only be trained but be retrained from time to time to help them become abreast of modern best practices,” the President stressed.
Delivering the keynote address on the theme, “Protecting the integrity of examination: If not us, who then?” the Bishop of the Navrongo–Bolgatanga Catholic Diocese , Most Reverend Alfred Agyenta , blamed the problem examination malpractice on the staff of West African Examination Council as well as some teachers and parents and called for stiffer punishment for such acts.
He noted that if the problem was not addressed quickly, it would not only lead to the grooming of the corrupt youth and also affect the quality of the human resource base of the country.
In a speech read on his behalf, the Upper East Regional Minister, Mr James Tiigah Zugaah commended NAGRAT for complementing government’s efforts at education delivery, and entreated the association to be more circumspect in making demands from government.