Mr Kwabena Kyere, Chairman of the Interim Council of Berekum College of Education at the weekend commended Parliament for the passage of the Colleges of Education Bill.
He noted that the bill, which is currently awaiting Presidential assent, would help facilitate the infrastructural development of the training colleges.
Addressing students, tutors and parents at the fourth congregation of the college in Berekum, Mr Kyere, a former Deputy Minister of Education, appealed to the government to increase the admission quota for the college to facilitate the admission of more students.
Diplomas were conferred on 382 graduates, comprising regular students and Untrained Teachers Diploma in Basic Education (UTDBE) students who successfully passed their examinations.
Mr Kyere observed that now that the bill is passed, the teething problems faced by colleges of education especially in the area of infrastructure could be addressed to enhance effective teaching and learning.
He said the government had voted sums of money through the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFUND) for the provision of accommodation for staff, while frantic efforts are being made to source funds for the construction of a modern hostel for the females, as well as a befitting administration block for the college.
Mr Kyere commended members of staff of the college, both academic and non-academic, whose support and hard work had made the college to achieve significant strides and entreated them to continue to discharge their duties with diligence and conscientiousness.
Mr Alexander Asum-Ahensah, Minister of Chieftaincy and Culture, said the government recognised and appreciated efforts made by teachers to national development despite the numerous challenges facing them.
He said the authorities had therefore placed teacher education at the centre of the educational agenda to turn out quality teachers who would provide quality education and also seek their welfare.
Mr Asum-Ahensan, an old boy of the college, observed that the passage of the colleges of education bill would also enable the 38 colleges to benefit from improved structures.
The upgrading of the colleges would also include improving the academic and residential facilities, revising the curriculum, building the capacities of staff, among other interventions.
With the passage of the bill, Mr Asum-Ahensah said it was envisioned that the government with relevant stakeholders would be on course to among other objectives, reduce the number of untrained teachers at the primary level from 59.4 per cent in 2010 to 30 per cent by 2013 through the UTDBE.
Furthermore, the government plans to ensure that by 2015, all basic schools will be adequately staffed with diploma graduate teachers, he added.
Mr Asum-Ahensah emphasised that it was the desire of the government to ensure that the compensation package, conditions of service and working environment of teachers were improved to match prevailing socio-economic needs and conditions.
He advised the graduates to demonstrate ethical values such as honesty, diligence, perseverance, faithfulness and responsibility in the course of their duties as they would be regarded as role models in the communities they would be serving.
Mr Yaw Adjei Sarkodie, Principal of the college, entreated the graduates to accept postings to schools in deprived communities and get prepared to work hard to excel in the profession.
He said even though GETFUND had allocated GH₵1,450,000.00 over the past three years for developmental projects in the college, physical infrastructure is still a problem.
The principal said the college established in 1953 with only 52 students and currently with a student population of 898, urgently needs an administrative block, auditorium and rehabilitation of access roads and drains.
Mr Sarkodie advised the tutors to remain committed in providing the students the enabling opportunities for learning by using appropriate textbooks and other teaching and learning materials. GNA