Teachers have been encouraged to upgrade their knowledge and skills to enable them to effectively contribute to the manpower development of the country.

Prof Sally Essuman, the Head of Department at the Educational Administration Management of the University of Education, Winneba (UEW), urged teachers to see beyond the present and help train quality manpower for the nation.

Prof Essuman gave the advice in a speech read on her behalf at an awards ceremony at Winneba to honour 40 hardworking and committed teachers and non-teaching staff from public and private basic and second cycle schools.

Some outstanding pupils who excelled in a quiz competition were also awarded while some schools were honoured.

The ceremony, on the theme: “Quality Education; Expectations of a Motivated Teacher,” was sponsored by Alex Afenyo-Markin, the Member of Parliament for Effutu.

Prof Essuman said quality education was multi-dimensional, complex and interrelated in many ways, which many equate to the provision of infrastructure, beautiful schools, provision of playgrounds, furniture and teaching and learning resources.

“These are all good and contribute to improving education, however, in our current dispensation, providing quality education is considered from the perspective of facilitating students’ learning and ensuring that they thrive academically to fulfil their potential and find meaningful careers in life,” she said.

“It is worth noting that it is not just teaching students to read, write, spell and calculate that brings quality education, but also to teach social norms, values and behaviours for them to become responsible citizens in the country.”

Prof Essuman said the UNESCO Education for All Global Monitoring Report 2005 first identified learners’ cognitive development and secondly emphasised the role of education in promoting values, attitudes of responsible citizens and nurturing creative and emotional development of learners.

Education, therefore, must move beyond preparing children to become “well-educated” citizens but rather cultivate in them reverence for their natural environment, spirituality and a sense of social justice, she said.

Also, the 2014 UNESCO Global Monitoring Report recommends that governments should aim at retaining the best teachers by recognising and rewarding their achievements.

Prof. Essuman said: “Recognition of teachers’ contribution to raising educational standards serves to motivate them and enhance their status in society, and it is an undeniable fact that teachers play a critical role in enabling students/pupils to achieve good learning outcomes in schools”.

She commended the award winners for the feat and urged them to improve upon their achievements, whilst encouraging those who were nominated but did not win to work harder to be recognised in the coming years.