By Ernest KISSIEDU
Telecoms giant MTN has presented scholarship packages worth GHS125,000 to 20 teachers selected for the MTN Teachers’ Improvement Awards programme for the 2017/2018 academic year.
This forms part of MTN Ghana Foundation’s commitment at supporting the teachers to further develop themselves in their field of work.
Ten of the teachers selected will pursue degree programmes while the other 10 will pursue their master’s programme.
The beneficiaries of the awards programme are expected to come back equipped with higher educational skills to transform the realities of the classroom, impact the lives of students and build capacity for national development.
The presentation ceremony coincided with the commemoration of this year’s World Teachers day, a day set aside to celebrate teachers and raise awareness on the importance of the role played by teachers all over the world.
The theme for the celebration was, “Teaching in Freedom and Empowering Teachers”.
Having acknowledged the need to support teachers develop themselves and keep themselves up-to-date on new methods on how children learn, emerging technology, new tools and curriculum for the classroom, MTN Ghana Foundation initiated the MTN Teachers’ Improvement Awards Programme in 2015.
The Programme is designed to financially assist teachers who teach in first and second cycle public institutions to upgrade their education at the First Degree or Masters levels.
The scholarship scheme seeks to improve the skills of teachers across the country to professionally grow in Science, Mathematics and English.
According to Acting Corporate Services Executive of MTN Ghana Foundation, Mrs Pala Asiedu Ofori, these subject areas continue to be core tools in many fields of study and also equip pupils with a unique powerful set of skills.
These include logical reasoning, problem solving skills and the ability to think in abstract ways which enable them to understand and change the world.
The programme will support some 100 teachers over a five year period.
For Mrs Asiedu Ofori, her outfit is convinced that the future of Ghana’s development lies largely in giving teachers access to higher quality education.
“As a good corporate citizen, MTN has a role to play in helping build a stronger nation. We therefore strive through various initiatives to complement government’s effort to ensure sustainable social development,” she said.
In addition, Mrs Asiedu Ofori indicated that teachers hold in their hands the success of the society and as such need to constantly update their knowledge and adopt best practices that meet the needs of today’s students.
“Out of 40 teachers who have been awarded with scholarship since the inception of the Teacher Improvement Award in 2015, 13 are in the University of Cape Coast while 27 are in the University of Education, Winneba. Five of the awardees have since graduated and four are expected to graduate pending the successful submission of their dissertations,” the acting Corporate Services Executive revealed.
However, Mrs Asiedu Ofori urged female teachers to take advantage of these opportunities as their male counterparts do.
“Since the inception of this project, female participation has been low. Out of the 20 selected for the third edition of the scholarship, only six women were selected.”
According to Senior Manager for MTN Ghana Foundation, Georgina Asare Fiagbenu, “We want teachers to be free where they are teaching, to be empowered, be knowledgeable and to have the opportunity better than they are doing today.”
A awardee, Alhassan Abdul-Gariw, thanked MTN Ghana for giving them such an opportunity to improve on their knowledge and teaching skills.