He stated that discussions about their work must be paramount and geared towards their development and growth.
Prof. Birikorang noted that most times teachers were looked down on while some policies in place made it more challenging for them to develop themselves and these sometimes eroded their self-confidence.
The Pro-VC made the call in an address he delivered on behalf of Prof. Mawutor Avoke Vice Chancellor of UEW at the opening of a two-day workshop organised by the Institute for Reductional Research and Innovation Studies (IERIS) at UEW, in partnership with three teacher unions of six educational directorates (Effutu, Awutu West and East and Gomoa West, East and Central) at Winneba.
The programme under the theme: “Teacher at the heart of Education Recovery after COVID-19 Pandemic,” is to research the leadership practices of head of basic schools and how they influenced learning outcomes in their schools and to seek UEW ‘s collaboration with basic schools to influence learning outcomes in schools.
According to Prof. Birikorang, teachers were there to ensure the growth of students and pupils and nurture them to be professionals who would transform society, adding that without teachers there would be no better understanding and growth of society.
He stated that teachers were unique mentors and first philosophers in life and therefore, better policies must be put in place to challenge them to develop their competencies through continuous education and development.
In a solidarity message, Mr Godfred Agbakplor, Effutu Zonal Chairman of the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), on behalf of all teacher unions, stated that despite widespread recognition that teachers were key to achieving quality education, teaching was still not widely regarded as a valued profession.
According to Mr Agbakplor, the right to education, a fundamental right enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and one of the key principles underpinning the sustainable development Goals (SDG4) must further support the cause of teachers through the International Community to achieve that goal.
He advocated that teachers must receive quality initial teacher education, effective induction into the profession, and opportunities for high-quality professional development to hone their skills throughout their careers.
He called on the government and the education communities to demonstrate to the public that teaching was a valued profession, by providing decent salaries and improving working conditions for educators at all levels of education.
“As we celebrate teachers' important contributions to improving the lives of children and youth around the world, we reaffirm our commitment to increasing the global supply of quality teachers.
“We, therefore, call on all governments and the International community to join us in this endeavour, so that children and young people, no matter their circumstances, can secure their right to quality education and a better future. Let that be our promise to the teachers and learners in Ghana”, he added.
Prof. Ephraim Avea Nsoh, Director of IERIS who chaired the event, in his address on the topic “Innovation Strategies at the Heart of Education Recovery” highlighted a number of factors crucial to ensure that teachers used cutting-edge techniques to support grand breaking and engaging lessons.
“We need a certain ecosystem of innovation that allows teachers to practice their skills, saying, there is the need for the creation of innovative policies that will facilitate trouble-free teaching and learning”, he further stressed.
Mrs Judith Micah, Effutu Municipal Director of Education on behalf of her colleague Directors, stated that teaching was one of the noblest professions in the world and believed there was no substitute for quality education because it helped in changing the lives of thousands of individuals and their families.
“We remember your labour, steadfastness and determination in ensuring that our learners become exceptional adults, successful in career and life”.
Ms Joyce Oduro, Executive Director of Macadamia Educational Consult, a resource person, in her presentation on continuous professional development framework and portfolio building, schooled the gathering on how the policy on the topic worked.