The government and other partners in education have been called upon to institute incentive packages to extrinsically motivate trained Early Childhood Development (ECD) education teachers to teach at that level.
Dr Peter Attafuah, Northern Regional Director of Education, who made the call, said pre-school and kindergarten teachers should be one of the highest paid workers in the world because teaching at those levels required exceptional skills, commitment, and dedication to ensure a strong foundation for children.
Dr Attafuah said the current situation where most teachers including those trained specifically for ECD education opted to teach at levels other than the ECD was not the best adding instituting incentive packages for teachers at the ECD level would help to reverse the trend.
He was speaking on, “Teachers’ Role in the Improvement of ECD: Challenges and Opportunities”, at a forum in Tamale on Monday to commemorate this year’s International Education Day.
It was organised by Children Believe, an international non-governmental organisation working to empower children in the country, and attended by partners in children’s education including civil society organisations, public institutions, traditional authorities, and school children.
International Education Day, commemorated on January 24, every year, has been instituted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation to take stock and highlight issues of concerns in education for governments to take action to address.
In line with its Centre of Excellence initiative, Children Believe organised the forum to direct the attention of stakeholders in education to ECD, which is the foundation for education.
The country’s ECD education sector faces challenges, which include inadequate and not-fit-for-purpose infrastructure, inadequate number of teachers amongst others.
Dr Attafuah also appealed to influential persons in society including chiefs and politicians to stop interfering in disciplinary proceedings instituted against teachers because it was not healthy for efforts to improve education in the country.
Madam Anne-Claire Dufay, Country Representative of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) called on government and other partners in education to focus on the reality on the ground and what to do to improve the situation for children and young people in the country.
Madam Dufay said there was the need to ensure the availability of facilities such as washrooms and dressing rooms for girls at basic schools to promote improved sanitation practices, as well as resources such as libraries to facilitate learning amongst children.
Mrs Esenam Kavi De Souza, Country Manager of Children Believe emphasised the need for stakeholders to invest more in ECD education to ensure the availability of teaching and learning materials, as well as teachers to help lay a strong foundation for children in the country.
Representatives of World Vision, ActionAid Ghana, Right To Play, and Lively Minds shared their thoughts on education in the country assuring of their continued readiness to support efforts at improving the sector.