Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia
The government has commenced the distribution of laptop computers to all teachers in the country in fulfilment of its promise of the One Teacher, One Laptop programme.
Under the “One-Teacher-One Laptop” programme, each teacher at every level of education from Kindergarten to Senior High School will receive a laptop, a novelty in the country’s educational service delivery system.
The government pays 70% of the cost of each laptop while the teacher pays the remaining 30%.
They, however, become the personal property of the teacher and serves the benefit of providing a tool for developing the teacher’s professional and personal capacity.
At the launch in Accra today, Vice President Bawumia commended and appreciated all teachers across the country for their dedication and sacrifice to the noble profession.
That, he said was because “effective teaching and learning is critical to developing the human capacity for work, innovation and creativity; necessary ingredients for capacity building.”
He, therefore, described teachers as the indispensable pillars to this necessary capacity building.
“Many of us here today are products of your sacrifice and can testify to your indispensable role in educating our children”, he said in praise of teachers.
The government through the Ministry of Education, the National Teaching Council and other international agencies have been working on a Comprehensive National Teacher Policy.
This is intended to motivate teachers and also be able to speedily address issues that affect teachers’ performance and their ultimate welfare.
Apart from restoring teacher trainee allowances, the government has since the year 2017, recruited over 90,000 staff to augment the staffing situation in schools and departed from the old tradition of keeping such recruited staff unpaid for months.
As part of efforts to improve the status of teachers, effective 2022, all products from the Colleges of Education will graduate as first degree holders and will be entering the Ghana Education Service as Principal Superintendents.
The waiting period for teachers who have upgraded themselves has also been halved.
To further enhance the status of teaching, the government has also introduced the Professional Learning Communities as well as the Continuous Professional Development systems, which provide opportunities for teachers to enhance their learning and teaching skills.
The government has thus introduced the Continuous Professional Development Allowance with the expectation to pay this year’s allowance soon.
The Vice President has since encouraged the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service to take full advantage of the opportunities offered under the One Teacher One Laptop programme.
He has since advised teachers to upload relevant and common educational resource materials unto the systems, including recorded lessons, revision materials and Chief Examiners’ Reports for easy access.
Efforts are also being made to form a strong partnership between authors of various textbooks to ensure that relevant materials are digitised and placed on the systems.
The Edukat system provides a treasure-trove of e-materials for teachers and learners.
It is, for this reason, Dr Bawumia said “I expect that government’s investment in the laptops will benefit teachers but more importantly the students who ultimately are at the centre of the educational ecosystem.”
“I expect dividends such as improved research for teachers, enhanced lesson plans, better analysis of student performance and new opportunities for boosted digital skills”, he noted.
By Charles Takyi-Boadu, Presidential Correspondent