Twenty-two (22) out of 26 public relations officers (PROs) of Ghana Education Service (GES) in Northern Region have just ended a workshop at the campus of Tamale College of Education.
The workshop, which was graced by the Northern Regional Director of Education, Alhaji Mohammed Haroon Cambodia, was to review the activities of the various Directorates in the region and to plan for the future.
In his opening address, after a prayer by Mr. Nyee Mathias, PRO for Kumbungu, Mr. Donald Kanzoni Awaala, Northern Regional PRO, praised his colleagues for their hard work at disseminating the policies and programmes of GES.
Mr Awaala commended participants for the expeditious way in which they collated and submitted their directorates’ First Quarter reports for this year and advised them against complacency.
He explained to newly appointed officers to quickly learn on the job and said, “This workshop is part of my Action Plan for this year to give regular updates and training for us to be effective spokespersons”.
Regional Director speaks
Regional Director of Education Alhaji M.H. Cambodia, in an address, urged participants to embrace the spirit of endurance and sacrifice in the performance of their duties. He indicated that PROs, who know what to say and what not to say at what time, ought to do proper consultations to enable them explain very well critical issues in education to the public.
Alhaji Cambodia advised the officers to be resourceful and effective in compiling the quarterly and annual reports of their directorates, adding, “You must have command over the use of the English Language since it is what you need to write a good report. You must read a lot to be able to appreciate the issues and to communicate them well.”
Mr. Odaatu Philip Amofa Acheampong, Regional Planning Officer of GES, leading the discussion on the components of the Revised Quarterly Reporting Template, admonished participants to establish a good rapport with all officers in their directorates so as to access reliable information for communication.
Mr. George Wilson and Sawudatu Ahmed, of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)/Learning, said it was the goal of their Agency to help improve the reading performance of 2.8 million primary school pupils by 2019, and named Bole, Bunkpurugu, Nanumba South and West Gonja districts as beneficiaries of their reading project in Northern Region.
Mr Kanzoni Awaala expressed gratitude to their district directors for their unflinching support, and added, “Special thanks goes to Alhaji Alhassan Yakubu, Northern Regional Chairman of Conference of District Directors of Education, for supporting this workshop. Like Oliver Twist, we are asking for more. PROs need more capacitybuildingin areas like ICT to perform well.”
He seized the opportunity to appeal to their directors to freely give them information when they need them, accentuating, “It is difficult to source information from schedule officers like accountants as some officers even tag us as gossips because of our closeness to our directors, as per our work.”
“We need laptop computers and our directors must actively engage us during supervision and monitoring so that we can also appreciate for ourselves the realities on the ground for better communication”, he requested.
He announced that, subject to availability of funds and resources, his outfit has slated a similar workshop to occur in July and October of this year.
By Anthony Kwaku Amoah
The writer is an educationist and a Public Relations Officer at the Headquarters of Ghana Education Service.