Government is instituting the necessary legal framework to make colleges of education operate as tertiary institutions. In addition, facilities at the colleges are being upgraded. Dr Dominic Pealore, Director of Statistics, Research, Information Management and Public Relations at the Ministry of Education, announced this at the launch of the maiden National Teachers Forum (NATEF) in Accra on Wednesday. The two-day forum to be held in September, this year is being organised by Open Learning Exchange (OLE) Ghana, a teacher development oriented NGO. It would be on the theme: "Meeting the Direct Needs of the Job Market through Quality Education 96 The Role of the Professional Teacher." The forum would also examine activities of civil society organisations, the relationship between them, the donor community and other stakeholders in the teacher education industry. Programmes lined up include television and radio discussions on teachers and education as well as articles on teacher education and a sponsored desk study of some activities on teachers in the country. Dr Pealore commended personnel at the Teacher Education Division (TED) of the Ministry for their untiring efforts in the development of the needed policy for the colleges. "I wish to commend TED for working on the teacher education professional development policy which would govern all activities within the teacher education landscape," he noted. Dr Pealore pledged government's commitment to work with stakeholders to improve the working conditions of teachers. He expressed appreciation to OLE Ghana for the initiative and urged stakeholders in teacher education to dispassionately explore innovative ways of developing dedicated and highly motivated teachers to deliver quality service. "With demands of the markets constantly changing, education in the country will also have to change to reflect these changing demands," he said.Professor Jophus Anamoah-Mensah, Chairman of NATEF lauded the contributions of teachers towards the country's socio-economic development. He cited inadequate motivation, lack of facilities to train more teachers, lack of refresher courses for teachers and lack of adequate classrooms as some of the challenges affecting the country's educational system. Professor Anamoah-Mensah, a Former Vice Chancellor of University of Education, Winneba, noted that NATEF would serve as a platform for teachers and stakeholders to deliberate dispassionately on issues concerning the welfare of teachers. "It would seek to discuss important determinants on teacher education policies, what corporate Ghana expects from teachers and how responsive teacher training curriculum is to the demands of the job markets," he added. Mr Kofi Essien, Programmes Director, OLE Ghana, extolled the importance of bringing together educational stakeholders to dispassionately explore innovative ways of improving the works and status of teachers. He said the forum was aimed at producing inputs that would inform and contribute to policy formulation at all levels of teacher education, position teachers within the country's education and socio-economic system, and create a positive identity for the teacher, thus creating a 91new' teacher. Mr Essien noted that it would also provide a comprehensive report on ways of increasing the country's teacher population without sacrificing innovations and quality. "It would also provide documentation on strategies for continuous teacher professional development adapted to the needs of teachers and involving them as both planners and administrators of such in-service activities," he said.
Source: Ghana News Agency