A total of 20 public and private school teachers have been shortlisted for the 2021 Ghana Teacher Prize (GTP) Award scheduled for October 5 this year.
Fifteen of them are teaching staff with the remaining five being non-teaching staff.
They were shortlisted from a list of about 500 public and private school teachers from across the country for this year’s event scheduled to come off on October 5, World Teachers Day, in Sunyani in the Bono Region.
The first prize winner will get a three-bedroom house while the second prize winner will receive a double cabin pick-up with the third prize winner taking home a saloon car.
This year’s event will be marked on the theme: “Teachers Wanted: Reclaiming Teaching and Learning for a Human-Centred Recovery”.
Launching the 2021 GTP in Accra yesterday, a Deputy Minister of Education, Rev. John Ntim Fordjour, said the government would continue to uphold the welfare of teachers in view of the critical role they played in the development of the country.
He explained that with the GTP, a day was set aside to recognize the indelible contributions members of the teaching profession had made to help develop the lives of children in the spirit of nation-building.
“Ghana, as a society, holds a deep sense of reverence, respect, and recognition for members of the noble profession and as a government, we hold in high esteem the contributions of our teachers,” he said.
On the shoulders of teachers, he said “every profession stands and that we could not have all the amazing professionals working creditably without the contributions of our teachers”.
Rev. Fordjour indicated that since 1995, a process had been institutionalized to recognize the most effective teachers out of the hundreds of thousands of teachers.
“We have set aside a transparent system that is very fair to ensure that we are able to sieve out just a few for recognition. We would continue to recognize the efforts of teachers unrelentingly.
As a government, he said, “we will continue to deepen our close collaboration with all teacher unions, in particular, and all relevant stakeholders in the education sphere to ensure that the welfare and motivation of teachers are upheld”.
The Registrar of the National Teaching Council (NAT), Dr. Christian Addai-Poku, outlined the critical roles played by teachers in molding the lives and development of students.
“Since 1995, Ghana has chosen to celebrate the day in a very elaborate manner. It starts with a two-day symposium,” he said.
He said, for instance, the COVID-19 pandemic had brought to the fore the critical role teachers played in society.
On behalf of the three teacher unions -Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), and the Coalition of Concerned Teachers-Ghana, the President of NAGRAT, Mr. Eric Angel Carbonu, said the three unions aligned themselves with the GTP as a result of its objective too, among other things, motivate teachers to give of their best.
“After all, everybody in this world needs encouragement, everybody in this world needs recognition, If for nothing at all, it serves as motivation to do the same or do better,” he said.
He said there was the need to address the problem of who was rightfully instituted to award teachers; he wondered whether it was the employer or the standard-setter or the National Teaching Council?
The 2020 GTP Most Outstanding Teacher, Mr. Eric Asante Asomani, said the recognition of teachers brought hope to them since it was the only scheme that rewarded excellence in the teaching profession.
He, therefore, expressed his appreciation to the organizers of the event.
A number of organisations provided various sponsorship packages for the organization of this year’s GTP.
The GES Occupational Pension Scheme provided a dummy cheque for GH¢ 300,000 for the first prize winner while Glico Pensions provided another dummy cheque for GH¢ 250,000.
Prudential Bank also presented a double cabin for the first runner-up while Data Bank also presented a saloon car to the second runner-up.
SIC-Life pledged GH¢ 100,000 in addition to 250 polo shirts, 50 caps and a life insurance cover totalling GH¢ 1million.
Others included Innolink Limited, UNESCO, Invest-Corp and GCB Bank, and ABE Ventures.