Godwill Arthur-Mensah, GNA
Accra, May 7, GNA - The Ghana Association of Teachers of English (GATE) has advised parents to provide their children who do not like reading with audio and video versions of learning materials to make it easier for them to study.
Mr Isaiah Adzigodi, the President of the Greater Accra Regional branch of the GATE, made the suggestion in an interview with the Ghana News Agency on the sidelines of the Association’s Annual Regional Delegates’ Conference in Accra.
He said English Language was an indispensable tool in every transaction and the official language of the nation and, therefore, urged pupils and students to take its study seriously to make headway in life.
‘‘As they listen, they will gradually develop the love for reading, and they will begin to read on their own, and naturally, the desire is built in them,’’ he said.
Mr Adzigodi observed that most students did not take the study of the English Language seriously and, therefore, ended up flopping miserably in their final examinations.
He, therefore, urged students to develop the habit of reading novels, magazines and newspapers that would expose them to new vocabularies and expressions to improve their communication and write-ups.
‘‘Equipping the English Language Teacher for Quality Teaching,’’ was the theme for the conference that attracted about 500 participants, including basic and secondary school teachers as well as other relevant stakeholders in the education sector.
The event provided a platform for them to share knowledge on contemporary methods of teaching English and other problem-solving encounters whilst parents were entreated to play active roles in promoting the academic work of their wards.
They were taken through processes of being creative and how to put their fertile ideas into writing.
Participants were also given tutorials on how to prepare winning proposals, curriculum vitae and summary writing.
Mr Adzigodi asked the Government to improve the conditions of service for teachers, saying; ‘‘The teacher is not given adequate attention in terms of salary whilst the service condition is so ridiculous.”
“There is no healthcare, accommodation and transport among other services enjoyed by other public sector workers,” he said, and asked government to attach some dignity to the teaching profession by motivating them to give off their best.
Mr Adzigodi charged members of the Association to be concerned about their professional development so as to be in tune with the contemporary methods of teaching.
He appealed for more teaching and learning materials to improve the quality of teaching and learning.
Mrs Margaret Okai, the Director of Basic Education at the Ghana Education Service (GES), underscored the relevance of basic education in the formative years and commended teachers for their immense contributions towards nurturing pupils to become responsible adults.
The participants, in a communique, appealed to the GES to reduce the number of short stories and poems selected for reading at the basic schools.
They cited, for instance, that the Cockcrow, which is the core Literature Book at the basic school, contained 11 short stories and poems, which made reading difficult and cumbersome for the pupils resulting in their poor performance in the examinations.
They said what made it more worrying was that only 10 marks was awarded for Literature in the examination and, thus, appealed to the examination body to increase the marks to 20.
The GATE is the official mouthpiece for English teachers in the country and provides a platform to promote the welfare of members.
The Association, over the years, has been supporting the GES in reviewing English text books, curricula and selection of various literature books for students at the basic and second cycle institutions.
It suggested, for instance, that English Literature must be taught at the basic level so as to provide a firmer foundation for pupils. This was duly adopted by the GES in 2007.