Teachers in deprived rural areas of Ghana say they feel motivated to continue serving in under -privileged communities after being honoured by the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.
The Otumfuo’ s Teachers and Educational Workers Awards scheme was instituted to provide incentive packages to teachers who work in rural communities and have excelled in their responsibilities.
200 awardees from 48 districts in the Ashanti, Eastern, Brong Ahafo and Volta regions were honoured at an ‘Awukudae’ durbar at the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi.
Some of the award winners who spoke to Luv News said they face challenges such as access to potable water, electricity, transportation and the apathy of some parents to send their children to school.
“If you look at the community and the kind of things around the place and you sacrifice to teach and you are honoured , you feel great ”, said Ernest Asamoah, an awardee from the Adansi North District , revealing that “the nearest town which you can access vehicle to the centre of the district is about nine miles [ away ] … and you have to walk this nine miles before you get [ a ] car to even attend a meeting.”
According to the Asantehene , Ghana owes a great deal of honour to teachers and other professionals who sacrifice the pleasure of living in urban communities to serve in deprived rural communities.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu observed that economic ventures in rural areas are key to national development , but regretted most rural communities are deprived with little or no access to amenities and infrastructure to promote a sustainable livelihood.
He opined that if there is any group in Ghana worthy of recognition and reward, it should be teachers in deprived communities.
“ In reviewing and analyzing the contributory factors that led to the decline in educational standards , one key factor was the lack of teachers , especially in the rural areas, and the poor conditions of service and motivation for teachers and educational workers”, Otumfuo noted in a statement.
He says the Promoting Partnerships with Traditional Authorities Project ( PPTAP ) , the Otumfuo Education Fund and the new Charity Foundation have been avenues to promote education from a holistic approach.
“Today , it is my pride and joy to appreciate and reward teachers and educational workers, especially those in deprived rural communities for giving off their best under very challenging conditions and also use this medium to entice others to take up teaching appointments in similar areas ”, the King stated.
Awardees received a special package to aid their stay and work in the communities and would be sharing 50 thousand Ghana cedi cash reward from the Otumfuo.
Story by Kofi Adu Domfeh/Luv FM /Ghana