Study to test efficacy of KG teacher training
A non-governmental organisation, the Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), has launched a study to test the efficacy of a scalable in-service for the training of kindergarten (KG) programme teachers, to improve the quality of KG teacher practices.
The study, to be carried out by the IPA, in partnership with the Ghana Education Service (GES) and the National Nursery Teacher Training Centre, is in direct response to the priorities laid out in the GES’s programme to scale up KG education in the country.
The Policy and Implementation Coordinator of the IPA, Ms Amma Aboagye, announced this at the launch of the study in Accra.
She explained that the study would also evaluate the added value of combining the training of teachers with a parental awareness intervention, aimed at increasing the likelihood that parents would support the implementation of improved teaching practice.
Ms Aboagye explained that during a baseline survey for the study carried out in 160 pre-schools in the Greater Accra Region on “Quality pre-schools for Ghana”, it was established that parents valued the kindergarten system as an educational tool and not for babysitting.
She observed that pre-school-related expenditures were quite substantial, and that the school selection by parents was driven by multiple factors.
Ms Aboagye said the survey further observed that the expectation of parents as to the kind of education the pre-school should offer was questionable.
She said all pre-schools to be covered by the study had a strong academic focus, citing, for instance, that the content focused on literacy and numeracy.
“We realised that all the pre-schools were almost exclusively teacher-centred,” she said, adding that homework started at age three-and-half and that learning goals were very ambitious.
The Country Director of IPA, Mr Loic Watine, said during the baseline survey, it was realised that the quality of the teachers at the pre-school level “was not exactly the level as we would have expected”.
Training for KG teachers
He said, for instance, that the method of teaching at the KG level at all the schools visited was similar to that of the primary level, adding that at the KG level, instead of the structured formal classroom situation, it should be one that the children should have the opportunity to play.
Mr Watine announced that the study would consider the training of about 480 KG teachers on how to teach at the KG level and would also create awareness of parents on what they should expect from the KG and what they should not expect.
The Director of Teacher Education Division of the GES, Dr Evelyn Oduro, said currently, there were seven colleges of education that were offering training for pre-school teachers to improve teaching at that level.