The prestigious Ghana Teacher Prize Awards, organized by the National Teaching Council in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, concluded on October 5, 2023, at the Ghana Secondary Technical School.
This marked the 28th session of the Ghana Teacher Prize, centered around the theme "The teachers we need for the education we want: the global imperative to reverse the teacher shortage."
The day began with eager attendees arriving at the school's assembly hall as early as 7:10 a.m., anticipating the commencement of the event.
By 9:14 a.m., the hall was already half full, and the emcees engaged the audience, preparing them for the festivities and welcoming arriving guests.
At 9:18 a.m., attendees had the opportunity to revisit the previous year's event through a documentary screening.
Nananom graced the occasion at 9:35 a.m., demonstrating their full support for the celebration of teachers.
The Minister for Education, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, arrived at 9:47 a.m. to enthusiastic cheers from the crowd. He took the time to personally greet attendees, including one fortunate individual who received a handshake and an inquiry about their teaching profession.
At 10:25 a.m., the President of the Republic of Ghana made a grand entrance, escorted by a strong security presence.
The entourage included the Western Regional Minister, Honorable Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, the Director-General of GES, Mr. Eric Nkansah, the Deputy Minister for Education (TVET), and the Minister for Education. The event commenced with the Navy band performing the instrumental version of the National Anthem, with all attendees standing and singing in unison.
Rev. Emmanuel Kwesi Ansah, the Bishop of Sekondi Methodist Church, led the opening prayer, setting a solemn tone for the proceedings.
The emcees proceeded to announce the names of the teachers shortlisted for the awards, building anticipation among the audience.
Dr. Christian Addai-Poku, a registrar at NTC, delivered the opening remarks, highlighting the global challenges faced by the teaching profession and emphasizing the need for governments to recognize and motivate teachers. He stressed that teachers closely observe how their nation treats them in their crucial role.
The event featured a cultural display by students from Anaji M/A Primary School, who performed traditional Kundum songs through dance.
Rev. Isaac Owusu of GNAT also delivered a brief statement, providing insights into the history of the National Best Teacher Award, which was instituted in 1994 by the Ministry of Education.
He called for increased financial incentives to retain Ghanaian teachers and expand programs like "One Teacher, One Laptop" and the school feeding program to include kindergarten and junior high schools.
Dr. Eric Nkansah, the Director-General of GES, took the opportunity to congratulate all teachers for their dedication to education and expressed appreciation to the President and the Minister of Education,
Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, for their commitment to investing in the country's education system. He emphasized the importance of celebrating and encouraging dedicated teachers, describing them as architects of nation-building. Mr. Nkansah urged all teachers to renew their commitment to their profession for the betterment of society.
Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, the Minister for Education, addressed the audience, debunking claims of a teacher shortage in Ghana. He clarified that Ghana is not facing a shortage of teachers but rather challenges in teacher deployment.
He outlined the government's efforts to address these challenges, including transfer incentives, to enhance the teacher deployment process. He urged the public not to believe negative narratives about Ghana's education system and emphasized the availability of evidence-based facts to counter such claims.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo celebrated the success of the free Senior High School (SHS) program, citing statistics that indicate a remarkable improvement in the performance of SHS students when comparing results from 2015 and 2022.
However, he acknowledged the challenges facing the education system, such as inadequate resources for teaching and learning and limited professional opportunities.
The President revealed government plans to roll out policies like STEM Education to enhance teaching and learning and ultimately contribute to positive societal impact.
The highlight of the event was the recognition of outstanding educators in four award categories. Sixteen out of 30 finalists emerged victorious.
Madam Faith Aku Dzapasu from Greta 'D' Shepherd 2 Basic School in the Greater Accra Region was named the Most Outstanding Teacher for the year 2023. Her accolades included a three-bedroom house, 1 million Ghana cedis in insurance coverage, and other gifts from sponsors.
Madam Isabella Wusah-Tetteh from Sege D/A Primary & KG in the Greater Region and Fredous Iddi-Amin from Ogbojo Presbyterian Basic School secured the 1st and 2nd runner-up positions, respectively.
This remarkable event celebrated the dedication and resilience of Ghana's educators while addressing key challenges in the education sector.
It underscored the importance of recognizing and motivating teachers to ensure the nation's educational development.