Mr Nicolas Mawunyo Gborse, the 2018 Most Outstanding Teacher, has appealed to the Government to consider lifting the ban on mobile phone usage by students at the Senior High Schools (SHS) to facilitate teaching and learning.
He said the world was in the era of information communication technology (ICT) for teaching and learning and therefore, students at the SHS level would be left behind in the use of ICT if the ban was not lifted.
He appealed to the telecommunication companies to introduce special mobile phones that could be used conveniently by students at the SHS for research and access other learning software applications on the Internet without having access to phonographic sites.
Mr Gborse, who is an English and History Tutor at the Bishop Herman College, Kpando, in the Volta Region, told the Ghana News Agency in an interview on Wednesday, to express his expectations ahead of the President’s State-of-the-Nation address on Thursday, February 21.
Mr Gborse, who won the maiden Ghana Teacher Prize in 2018, the rebranded version of the hitherto Best Teacher Awards, said government should make conscious efforts to make the study of ICT a tool for teaching and learning across all levels of the education ladder.
He said it was frustrating that some teachers at the basic schools had to draw the various components of the computer on the chalkboard to teach, while pupils had to learn ICT imaginatively.
“As a nation, we have to make conscious efforts to integrate the teaching and learning of ICT into our teaching methodology and re-train teachers who are not ICT savvy,” he pointed out.
Mr Gborse explained that education should be a comprehensive and holistic process and, therefore, underscored the need for government to double its efforts to improve the quality of teaching and learning so that Ghanaian students could compete competitively at the global arena.
He asked government to pay attention to furniture deficit in some basic schools because lack of tables and chairs were hampering quality of teaching and learning.
While commending government for implementing the Free Senior High School (FSHS) policy to ease financial burden on parents, Mr Gborse appealed to government to pay attention to teachers’ accommodation.
He observed that the FSHS policy resulted in recruitment of more teachers to teach at the SHS, but lack of access to decent accommodation for them was hindering the quality of teaching and learning and called on government to practicalise the affordable housing project at the district level through public-private partnerships to ease accommodation challenges for teachers.
He appealed to government to review the recruitment of head teachers for schools by not only considering the number of years they had taught, but paying attention to institutional leadership.
“Gone are the days when head teachers were supposed to be aged persons with grey hair because it is seen as repository of wisdom, but nowadays there are young teachers who have acquired knowledge and skills with institutional leadership and could provide adequate supervision and ensure everything is done right in the school,” he noted.
Interestingly, Mr Gborse asked government to consider paying teachers clothing allowance as they needed to dress appropriately to school in order not to become laughing stocks in society.