The Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Prof. George K. T. Oduro, has entreated traditional leaders to contribute meaningfully to promote quality education in the communities under their jurisdiction.
He observed that education has been globally identified as a key ingredient in accelerating development in both personal and societal contexts.
Prof. Oduro made this call when he delivered an address at the coronation and swearing of oath ceremony of Ohene Nana Kweku Tondor V and Obaahemaa Nana Akua Suapem Nyaniba II at Dehia in the Central Region. Obaahemaa Nana Akua Suapem Nyaniba II known in private life as Prof. Elizabeth Afriyie, a professor at the Department of Science and Mathematics Education, University of Cape Coast.
The Pro-Vice-Chancellor noted that Dehia Community could only accelerate her pace of development when traditional leaders, with the support of opinion leaders and other stakeholders prioritise educational issues in their development agenda. “Indeed, there is no aspect of our nation’s development agenda that could be pursued without reference to education: be it teaching, medicine, security, agriculture, engineering, accounting and others,” he stressed. He therefore expressed confidence that the Queen mother of Dehia who is an astute academic would put more premium on educational issues, influence government policies on education and attract other stakeholders to support educational initiatives in their communities.
While acknowledging the indispensable role played by education in the development of the nation, he singled out the crucial role teachers play in the education enterprise noting that “the teacher is the pivot around which quality education evolves.” He indicated that the teacher’s role has become multifaceted and they were expected to assume the responsibility of a counselor, mentor, surrogate parent, nutritionist, spiritual guide, banker and even social welfare activist. He said teachers grapple with increasing complex public expectations pointing out that “failures in home and community responsibilities, failures of politicians in children’s socialization, inefficiencies in sex education, difficulties in youth employment, weaknesses in traffic education, littering in our environment and many others have all become a liability on the teacher’s job.”
Prof. Oduro urged traditional leaders to put in place measures that would cater for the welfare of teachers and also adequately resource them to perform their work to expectation. He reminded the Ohene Nana Kweku Tondor V and Obaahemaa Nana Akua Suapem Nyaniba II that “Traditional leaders have a social capital which, if applied positively, could influence policies and also open opportunities for attracting external support for community development, particularly in the area of education.” He was also quick to add that “But this social capital can make the desired impact if traditional leaders demonstrate a relational orientation devoid of partisanship and other sectional ideological differences.”
The Metropolitan Chief Executive of Cape Coast, Ms. Priscilla Arhin who spoke at the function called on traditional leaders to reactivate the respect for traditional values. She expressed worry that western taste in terms of food, dressing and dancing were gradually suppressing the valuable cultural practices of Ghanaians. She, therefore, called on teachers to incorporate traditional cultural values and practices.
In her remarks at the ceremony, the Obaahemaa Nyaniba II appealed to the people in the Dehia community to live in peace and unity. She implored them to support the chief to advance the development of the town. She also assured the people that they would help to improve access and quality of education in the community especially at the basic level adding that “this will create a good foundation for the pupils to pursue second cycle and tertiary education so that they can also become responsible leaders of the country.”