Sabina Aba Dosu of the St. Dominic’s R/C JHS at Akwatia in the Denkyembour District of the Eastern region emerged the Most Outstanding Teacher at the Ghana Teacher Prize 2019, completing a clean sweep of the awards by lady teachers.
Also winning on the day were Philippa Darko of the State Experimental School, in Kumasi who emerged the first runner-up, while Christiana K. Yeye of the Yumba Special School for the Intellectually Disabled in Tamale, Northern Region, emerged the second runner-up.
For her prize, Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia presented Sabina with the model of a three-bedroom house worth GH¢180,000 donated by SIC Life.
Philippa was presented with the keys to her prize of a 4X4 pick-up vehicle while Christiana won a saloon car.
Moments after she joyously received the coveted prize at the Paa Joe Stadium of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi where the event was held, Sabina broke into tears of joy, with members of her large entourage and several teachers consoling her.
Vice President Bawumia, Special Guest, acknowledged the special role and contributions of teachers towards nation building, and pledged the continued commitment of the government to seek their welfare.
“It is often said, that if you can read, thank a teacher, that is indeed true, but let me add this, if you can think, thank a teacher. I say this because our teachers do not only teach us to read and to do multiplication of tables, they challenge and inspire us, help us to explore and maximise our abilities and talents and bring out the potential in us. Teachers excite our imagination and bring the world to the confines of our classrooms, as much as they carry us out into the world beyond those walls, and reach out to other cultures and societies through the power of the written and spoken word. Teachers are our friends, our inspirers and solid rocks in the lives of many young children, especially those who are coming from poor homes where3 education is yet to take root.”
Dr. Bawumia said beyond the classroom, teachers are the pillars of communities, taking up many roles and responsibilities in the society and whose worth carried their weight in gold.
“I salute our gallant teachers who in many instances work under challenging instances and conditions. This nation is grateful and we will not forget you. We must and will continue to strive to make life better and more dignified”, he added.
Touching on the theme of the occasion, Dr Bawumia said the youth of every organization truly reflects its future and that education cannot be any different, “which is why we continue to take steps to ensure that young people are attracted into the profession as a first and not a last option.”
He said in line with government efforts to empower teachers to better their professional and social lives, the Ministry of Education in collaboration with development partners was developing a comprehensive teacher policy for approval and subsequent implementation. The policy, he added, will enable the Ghanaian teacher be competitive at the international level.
Dr. Bawumia also acknowledged that the quality of students depends on the level of investments government and parents make in the student. “For us as government, our vision is that no child should be denied the opportunity of senior high school education by reason of his or her family’s financial circumstances. That is the cornerstone of our flagship Free SHS policy which was rolled out in September 2017. We must all be delighted by the fact that enrollment in senior high schools across all three years is expected to hit 1.2 million students this academic year. That is massive. So clearly we are improving access and we will continue to improve access. It is not costless but Nana Akufo-Addo has made it very clear that the cost of not educating our children is much higher than the cost of educating them.”
He said government will continue to pay the price of educating the future generations because it is in the interest of the nation so to do, adding that beyond improving access, government is committed to ensuring quality relevant education that will produce confident, skilled global citizens ready and able to compete with their counterparts anywhere in the world.
Dr. Bawumia said to realise the objective, government was introducing reforms to teacher education to place teachers at the centre of educational reforms to deliver quality learning outcomes.
Education Minister Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh said as a nation Ghana has not thanked her teachers and educational workers enough for their hard work and dedication over years, in spite of several challenges they face, however, he assured teachers that President Akufo-Addo really cares about their welfare and that government will do all it can to improve their lot.
He said education is the shortest distance between poverty and prosperity and that far more than natural resources, it is the ultimate game changer and impacts far more, for “after all the mere access to natural resources without the knowhow to convert it to wealth amounts to nothing.”