Senior Minister Yaw Osafo-Marfo says respect for teachers in the country has dwindled over the years.
He said this is regardless of the fact that teachers play a key role in the development of the country.
The Senior Minister made this known during the 10th Congregation of Our Lady of Apostles (OLA) College of Education at Cape Coast.
The former finance minister indicated that the most important responsibility of a teacher is to be a role model, urging the graduates to serve as good role models in society in order to uplift the image of the teaching profession.
” The teacher normally is considered a role model in society . Sometime back, the teacher, from the village to the city, were the most respected professional group. If you were a teacher or headteacher , no chief took decisions without consulting you . This is how far we respected teachers,” he stated.
He however added that circumstances are no longer the same for teachers in the country.
“Do we still respect teachers the same way today? The answer is a big no, because the word role model for teachers has been abused at all levels. There were things teachers will not do or say because they were seen as a professional group . I am appealing to you to help bring back that respect that was accorded teachers by acting as worthy role models, ” he indicated.
On his part the guest speaker, Prof. Kwesi Yankah, Minister of State in–charge of Tertiary Education, also indicated that there cannot be any meaningful transformation of Ghana’s educational system if the quality of teacher education at the basic level is not improved.
He added that teachers have a unique role to play in nation building as a result, government is currently embarking on various projects to ensure that teachers are well positioned to deliver efficiently in order to enhance the quality of teacher education.
He also promised that government has taken a bold step to restore teacher-trainees monthly allowances.
He however emphasized that the allowance is not a bait to lure individuals into the teaching profession but rather meant to encourage those who genuinely desire to become teachers but cannot afford the high cost of funding their professional education.