A retired educationist, Mr Joseph Mensah-Diawuo, has called on the Ministry of Education to ensure that teachers are trained to acquire skills and knowledge to enable them to handle diverse issues in their classrooms and properly respond to differences in skills in the course of the orientation of their students.
He said there was also the need for teachers to have the skills to respond to parents’ expectations and aspirations of communities where they were posted to.
According to him, tutors in colleges of education should move beyond examination-focused and content-oriented approaches to learning and pedagogy-oriented teacher training approaches.
Mr Mensah-Diawuo was speaking on the topic: “Transforming societies through education, the 2030 agenda, the role of the teacher,” during this year’s delegates’ conference of the Berekum District branch of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) at Berekum.
He said, “The teacher is an expert in pedagogy and leads the learning culture of the classroom, supporting each person to constantly develop knowledge and skills as they engage in challenges, enquiry, problem-solving and teamwork,” he said.
The teacher’s duty
Mr Mensah-Diawuo, who was the Headmaster of the Presbyterian Senior High School at Berekum, said it was the duty of teachers to cater for the health needs and welfare of students entrusted in their care.He, however, observed that the phenomenon now was that teachers were “trained to pass examinations so we teach children to pass examinations.”
Mr Mensah-Diawuo blamed the GES for woefully failing to give teachers in-service training to update their skills, adding that old and archaic methods of teaching were applied in teaching to confuse students, especially in English Language, Mathematics and Science.
He stated that teachers could not help to transform societies when they themselves were not transformed, explaining that gone were the days when the teacher was a symbol of hope, trust and exemplary lifestyle that the society cherished.
Mr Mensah-Diawuo said it was really sad to find some teachers, who were supposed to be role models, indulging in alcoholism, rape, defilement and other vices abhorred by society, saying ‘’some teachers even impregnate girls and cut short their education, with teacher absenteeism in Ghana, being one of the highest in Africa.”
For his part, the acting Berekum District GNAT Chairman, Mr Stephen Adjei-Munufie, expressed concern over delays in promotions of teachers and stated that the issue had become a demotivating factor for teachers.
“These problems must be addressed by the Ghana Education Service (GES) immediately to avoid the wrath of teachers,” he said, and called on the government to consider providing affordable housing for teachers posted to rural areas.
Mr Adjei-Munufie also called on the leadership of the Teachers’ Fund to establish a sub-office in Kumasi to cater for the interest of teachers in the northern sector of the country in order to boost their morale so they could give their best.
The Berekum District GNAT Secretary, Mr Joseph Kuupol, called on teachers to be dedicated to their duties by avoiding absenteeism and the use of school hours for their personal activities.