Africa-Press – Ghana. Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei-Tutu II, has observed that teachers are the primary source of human progress and therefore, deserved to be held in high esteem for the essential services they continue to provide to the nation.
He praised them as holders of the key to national development and indispensable in the country’s quest for quality education.
“If education is the key then you, our teachers, hold the key to our development and prosperity,” he told the members of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) at its Sixth Quadrennial National Delegates Conference in Kumasi on Monday.The week-long conference is on the theme, “Surviving as a reliable and vibrant teacher union in the 21st Century.”
It will be climaxed with the election of national officers to lead the Association for the next four years.
“By your tutelage we are able to shape our communities and nations. There can be no science, technology and inventions without a teacher,” the Asantehene indicated.
The implementation of the Free Senior High School Policy, he noted, was a landmark in Ghana’s education system.
According to the Asantehene, much as the initiators of the free senior high school deserved commendation for the bold step, the sacrifices and commitment of teachers toward its implementation could not be overemphasised.
Otumfuo Osei-Tutu challenged the teachers to use the opportunity to confront challenges facing their work and chart a new course with focus on creativity and innovation.
“As we seek the best from our teachers, so must our teachers be made to feel truly valued,” he said.
“It does get truly disconcerted when industrial relations break down and teachers abandon their classrooms and lecture halls which obviously affects students,” he lamented.
He called on all parties to focus on improved formula of negotiations and consultations to minimise industrial actions.
Reverend Prof. Emmanuel Adow Obeng, President of the Presbyterian University College, who delivered the keynote address commended GNAT for becoming a formidable teacher union after years of struggle.
He said the Association had made significant impact in protecting the interest and welfare of the Ghanaian teacher and also contributed to the socio-economic development of Ghana.