Mr Sulemana Alhassan, the Upper West Regional Minister, has decried the falling standard of education in the Region and attributed it to the wrongful copying of western lifestyles by the youth.
He said the northern part of the country, which was known for its excellent performance and quality academic credentials in the nineties had lost its quality due to the attitude of young people who were blindly embracing western cultures, which had derailed the rich Ghanaian cultural values.
Mr. Alhassan stated this at the fifth Quadrennial Regional Delegate’s Conference of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) in Wa, which was to among other things, assess the achievements and challenges of the Association in order to chart a way forward.
It was also meant to elect new executives to lead the activities of the Association at the regional level for the next four years.
He hinted that the Region recorded 47.5 per cent pass in the 2011 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE), 46.1 per cent in 2012 and 36.03 per cent in 2013.
This further dropped to 28.81 per cent in 2014, but appreciated to 28.87 and 30.48 per cent in 2015 and 2016 respectively.
The Regional Minister commended GNAT for “championing the welfare of teachers and for the support the Association had shown to successive governments over the years in the execution of its educational policies”, stating that a well informed and educated citizens were the bedrock of the development of every nation.
Mr Alhassan indicated that the Regional Coordinating Council and the Ghana Education Service had initiated several measures including the education forum organised in 2015 to come out with policy initiatives to avert this unfortunate trend.
The Regional Minister also called on the teachers to be committed to their work since quality teaching was critical to the effective implementation of the free Senior High School (SHS) policy initiative by the government.
Mr. Paul Apanga, former National President of GNAT, urged stakeholders in the educational sector to actively play their roles to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and to promote lifelong learning opportunities for all in the Upper West Region in specific and the country at large.
He hinted on the need for stakeholders to put in pragmatic measures to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals four target of eliminating gender disparity in education, and ensuring equal access to all levels of education and vocational training for the vulnerable, including persons with disabilities.
Mr. Apanga also urged the government to adequately empower teachers to increase their commitment and dedication in their work to achieve the objectives of the SDG4.
The conference which was on the theme: transforming societies through education: the role of stakeholders in achieving SDG4 in the Upper West Region” was also attended by the overlord of the Tumu Traditional Area. Also in attendance were both Regional and District Directors of Education among others.