Education, Education News, News, Spotlight — May 18, 2012 at 1:48 pm Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Hon. Chairman,
Hon. Regional Minister,
Hon. Presiding Member,
Hon. Assembly Members,
Regional Director of Education,
Municipal Coordinating Director,
Directors of Education,
Heads of Department,
Nii Mei Ke Naa Mei,
Our Noble Teachers Present,
Friends from the Media,
Ladies and Gentlemen

I deem it a great honour to be given the opportunity to deliver the Keynote Address for this grand and memorable occasion in the history of the Ledzokuku-Krowor Municipality. I am indeed delighted to share this joyous occasion with you as the Special Guest and wish therefore to commend the organizers for working so hard for the realization of this dream.
Hon. Chairman, I am really delighted that we are here to witness the first ever ceremony to recognize and appreciate the good and hard work of the numerous Teachers and Workers in the Municipality. Let me take this opportunity to commend them highly for their tireless efforts and the significant roles they continue to play towards educational delivery in our municipality and the country at large.
Ayekoo to you all.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the dynamics of our challenging world makes the theme for this maiden Ledzokuku-Krowor Best Teacher/Worker Awards “Gender Equality with the Teacher: A Recipe for Sustained Recovery in Educational Standards” very apt and relevant. The theme offers us the opportunity to reflect and recognize the Teacher as the driving force for achieving gender equality in education and also helping to improve upon the standards of education. It acknowledges that, both boys and girls need equal treatment and encouragement from Teachers and educational administrators to enable them develop their innate potentials to the fullest.
It therefore gladdens my heart that at a recently held review workshop by the Regional Education Sector, LEKMA was mentioned as one of two Municipalities which has achieved gender parity at the Primary School level.
Permit me at this juncture to expatiate on some of the concepts in the theme. Gender has been defined as “the relations between men and women, (boys and girls) both perceptual and material. Gender is therefore not determined biologically as a result of sexual characteristics of either women or men, girls or boys, but is constructed socially. It is a central organizing principle of societies, and often governs the processes of production and reproduction, consumption and distribution” (FAO 1997). In spite of this, gender is often erroneously misunderstood as being promotion of women or girls only. Gender issues focus on women/girls and on the relations between men and women (boys and girls), their roles, access to and control over resources, division of labour, interests and needs.
Gender equality therefore means that the rights, responsibilities of individuals will not depend on whether they are born male or female. Equality involves ensuring that the perceptions, interests, needs and priorities of women and men (girls and boys) will be given equal weight in planning and decision making.
There is a dual rationale for promoting gender equality across all sectors including education; firstly, that equality between women and men – equal rights, opportunities and responsibilities is a matter of human rights and social justice. And secondly, that greater equality between women and men is also a precondition for sustainable people – centred development. The perceptions, interests, needs, and priorities of both women and men must be taken into consideration not only as a matter of social justice but because they are necessary to ensure development processes.
Hon. Chairman, Article 17(2) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana provides that “A person shall not be discriminated against on grounds of gender, race, colour, ethnic origin, religion, creed or social or economic status”. Similarly, Article 38(2) states that Basic Education shall be free, compulsory and available to all.
In spite of these provisions and despite all the efforts made by Government and other Stakeholders in bridging the inequality gap, the problem still persists and the theme is a clear indication that there is gender inequality in the education sector which without doubt calls for appropriate measures to address it.
The main challenges to achieving gender equality in education have been noted to include:

• Ingrained behaviour and norms
• Gender stereotyping in the home
• Harmful traditional attitudes, socio-cultural beliefs and practices, for example, early marriages, forced marriages, fostering, etc.
• Sexual harassment and rape
• Poor perception of girls’ education
• Poor infrastructure and school environment
• Poverty
• Irresponsible parenting etc.
These challenges to gender equality in education are not insurmountable and Teachers, as change agents should not only be talking about this, but ought to start the transformation from their classrooms giving equal opportunity to both girls and boys. The Bible admonished us in Proverbs 22(6) to “train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it”.
This is why the role of the Teacher is critical in nurturing children to grow up in an environment that will help them become responsible and productive citizens. We all know how children especially those at the kindergarten and lower Primary levels, trust their Teachers and it is therefore at this stage that we should inculcate moral and spiritual values in them to enable them become useful citizens.
These children see their Teachers as role models who provide inspiration and motivation, and mentors who trains, advices and shares practical experiences with. They indeed idolize teachers and are therefore traumatized for life when their trusted friend, Role Model and Mentor become their abusers and perpetrators of their pain.
Hon Chairman, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, it is important, at this stage, to remind ourselves of the reason for this august gathering. We are here to reward deserving Teachers for their meritorious services to our Municipality.
The Teacher is really a recipe to the recovery and sustenance of quality education. Your value in developing the resources of this country cannot be measured in monetary terms; neither can you be adequately compensated for your invaluable services to our children and the nation. In deed the items to be presented to the award winners are “nothing” in view of the enormity of the contributions that you make towards our human resource development. It is just a token to spur you on to work even harder in the years ahead.
Hon. Chairman, the importance of education and training can indeed not be overemphasized because of the transformational effect it has on the individual and society, through the acquisition of knowledge, skill and experience. The Assembly has in recognition of this fact, made the provision of education infrastructure one of its topmost priorities. As a demonstration of our commitment towards improving the standard of education we have since 2010 to date channeled GH¢1,544,663.09 towards the provision of education facilities. This includes the building of Classroom Blocks, provision of Furniture, Libraries, Dormitories etc. We have also collaborated with Government in the provision of free Exercise Books and School Uniforms as well as the implementation of the School Feeding Programme. I am glad to announce that, the Assembly is presently catering for two thousand (2000) pupils under the School Feeding Programme from its own resources.
We have also expended an amount of GH¢10,225.50 (GH¢7,260.00 for purchase of award items and GH¢2,965.50 for organization of today’s programme) to support this maiden event.
Permit me to indicate that the Assembly will continue to do all that is necessary to ensure that quality education thrives in the Municipality. The Assembly recently had occasion to cut sod for the construction of a new Office Complex for the Municipal Education Directorate with assistance from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
It is my fervent believe that this office on completion will provide the added impetus for supervision and monitoring in our Schools through the recruitment and placement of competent staff.
Hon. Chairman, allow me at this juncture to advice our School Children to cultivate the habit of reading, be serious with their studies, be disciplined and show respect to their Teachers and Parents who work hard to take care of their needs including their school fees.
Hon. Chairman, Hon. Regional Minister, Nii Mei Ke Naa Mei, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, before resuming my seat, I wish to once again congratulate all the award winners for distinguishing themselves in their job to merit awards. It is our hope that your achievement will encourage other teachers to put in their best to educate the human resource LEKMA needs for her development.
Ayekoo to you all and May God bless us all.
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