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JEB Award for teachers from less-endowed schools instituted

ADDRESS BY DR. RICHARD BANFUL IN COMMEMORATION OF THE J.E.B AWARD The Managing Director of Primetime Limited, producers of the National Science & Maths Quiz (NSMQ), distinguished ladies and Gentlemen. It is the time of the year again when education generally, and specifically, science and mathematics education is given pride of place in Ghana. We applaud Primetime Limited, and the sponsors of this programme, for sustaining this competition that has brought the importance and relevance of education in science and mathematics to our youth, and its consequential benefits to the entire nation. At this point, we will introduce ourselves to you. We are the Banful family, a Ghanaian family that shares the ideals of the promotion of science and mathematics education, as well as healthy competition in the process of education. We are the children of two persons who started their careers as teachers. Although our father became a public servant later in his career, our mother remained a teacher for most of her career. This couple started life as teachers, not in regional capitals, or even in big towns where schools were endowed with educational tools, but in underprivileged communities in Ashanti and Brong Ahafo. Their sacrifice in one such place, a remote village in Brong Ahafo, brought the light of education to an otherwise underprivileged place and produced scholars, some of whom ended up as educators. For this reason, we, their children, honour and praise teachers similarly placed who give so much but appear to reap so little because of the limitations they have to deal with while they carry out their tasks as educators. Our parents have both passed on, and because we miss them every day in the lessons they passed onto us, including the recognition that sacrifice is rewarded in ways we could never contemplate, we have decided to honour such sacrifice. At the NSMQ, several schools of varying strengths compete for the ultimate prize. We note that schools of whatever GES grading/ranking: A, B, C are represented at the competition. Loosely put, some schools are described as “endowed”, and others as “less endowed.” These “less-endowed” schools are not intimidated by the “big name” schools and every year, put forward students with the hope that one day, endowed or not, they will carry the prize. We salute these schools. We salute the dedicated, selfless teachers who prepare students of these “less endowed” schools to compete on a national level without fear. Our highest regards are reserved for the teachers who prepare such students so well that they turn the system on its head when they bring home shock wins against their more endowed counterparts. We, as a family have decided to celebrate such teachers by instituting an annual award for the teaching support of a less-endowed school that reaches quarterfinals or beyond. We describe them as ‘teachers of the most impressive run.” So to these teachers, who like our parents- the Late Mr. And Mrs. Jacob Banful, put in the great sacrifice to prepare students from the “less-endowed schools” to attain such amazing heights, we say Ayekoo! We will reward you with a prize instituted in your honour, and in recognition of your selfless work, the “Jacob and Elizabeth Banful Memorial Award for Teachers of the School with the Most Impressive Run”, JEB Award for short. To Primetime, we are proud to be associated with you. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to support such a prize, and by it, to honour the memory of our departed parents and their sacrifice. We thank you very much.

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