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Mr Paul Osei-Mensah, Immediate Past General Secretary of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), has said a functional educational system must have at least 70 percent of products of one level moving to the next.

He said transition from the Junior High School (JHS) to the Senior High School (SHS), as an example, should be 70 percent of the about 400,000 candidates that sit for the examination every year.

Mr Osei-Mensah was delivering a paper at the third quadrennial regional conference of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), Volta Regional Branch, in Ho.

The four-day delegate’s conference is under the theme “Achieving Quality Education by 2015-The Role of Stakeholders”.

Mr Osei-Mensah said an efficient education system must give skills, raise incomes and make its beneficiaries worthy citizens.

He said any nation working towards that goal must comprehend and target it and also provide logistics, adequate and proficient human resource and the managerial expertise.

Mr Osei-Mensah said the teacher represented the pivotal tool, central to the attainment of quality education, besides other requirements as infrastructure and working apparatuses.

He said qualitative teaching would depend on who was trained as a teacher and how he or she was managed while on the job and above all that teacher must have the willingness to teach.

Mr Osei-Mensah said a nation desiring quality education for its people must in their evaluation of jobs, put teaching high up, to attract and retain the best.

“The state must raise the standard of the teachers in relation to other professions commensurate with the value it puts on education.”

Mr Osei-Mensah expressed regret that as things were now many people accepted to go to teacher training colleges and become teachers only as a stop gap measure and only “go to waste the time of their pupils”.

He said government must give teachers their due with regards to salaries but suggested that pay must be based on output.

Mr Osei-Mensah said if an evaluation scheme was found to access teachers, many would get reduced salaries while others get a raise.

He said results of the high expenditure of the state and parents on education were not commensurate with cost and therefore tasked teachers to “reverse this trend”.

Mrs Irene Duncan-Adanusah, GNAT General Secretary, appealed to the government to go by the agreed road map to pay the new levels in salaries this August and the arrears in two instalments in September and October.

She also cautioned government against, what had now become an annual affair, of delaying payment of salaries of newly trained teachers for months.

Mrs Duncan-Adanusah asked teachers to stop demeaning themselves as “poor teachers” but rather as professionals with a crucial input to national development.

She said GNAT would fight any form of political interference in the management of education in the country.

Mr David Dotse, Chairman of the Volta Regional Conference of District Directors of Education (CODDE), commended teachers for their hard work but listed irregular attendance at school, non-preparation of teaching notes, drunkenness and inappropriate relations with pupils as some concerns of authorities.
Source: GNA

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