Reduce basic schools class size - Teachers urge GES

BY: Ezekiel E. Sottie

Primary school teachers from nine selected schools in the Lower Manya Krobo Municipality in the Eastern Region have ended a five-day training workshop on Differentiated Learning (DL) with a call on the Ghana Education Service (GES) to cut down the class size for effective teaching and learning at the basic education level.

The schools included Adjikpo Yokunya Roman Catholic, Okwenya Municipal Assembly, Odumase-Akro Municipal Assembly, Pierngua Yokwenor Municipal Assembly and Agomanya Methodist.

The rests were Abobeng Municipal Assembly, Nuaso Saint Clement Roman Catholic, Nuaso Presbyterian, Nuaso Anglican and Abobeng Municipal Assembly.

Course

DL is a remedial English Language and Mathematics programme which aims at assisting learners who lack basic literacy and numeracy skills.

These are learners between the ages of seven and 12 years whose competence in English Language and Mathematics is below what is expected of them at their age and grade level. DL is a holistic approach that helps to improve foundational skills.

The DL approach is made up of implementation teams’ assessment, classroom methodology as well as monitoring and evaluation which collects data from learner assessment and feedback on the support offered to teachers to help implementers to build on continual tracking and feedback into the programme design.

Participants

The participants were taken through topics, including introduction to differentiated learning, aims and objectives of the DL, adult education, assessment and grouping, reading and the component of reading, introduction of DL materials for reading, teaching of English sounds, phonics: blending and spelling, reading comprehension, writing and questioning, among others.

According to the participants, the current  large class sizes that existed in the basic schools in the Lower Manya Krobo Municipality and the country at large was a worry to teachers and needed to be discouraged as early as possible.

‘’In a class where the class size is more than 45, there is the need for additional classrooms for the excess children/pupils or another stream for effective teaching and learning. With educational principles, when the learners are many, the teacher may not supervise them effectively’’, the teachers expressed the concern.   

The teachers also suggested to the Ghana Education Service to, as matter of fact, introduce subject teaching in the primary schools.

They explained that teacher education policy these days stressed on subject areas, and therefore, such a policy should begin from the primary.

Subjects

‘’No teacher should be allowed to handle many subjects alone as it is currently being done in the primary schools. When a subject is introduced at the primary level it will enhance quality teaching and learning and therefore good foundation will be laid towards the junior high school level and beyond’’, they explained.

They further explained that in the current primary school system when one teacher was responsible for each class, in the absence of the teacher, the children/learners in that class would lose the whole day teaching and learning but where it was subject teaching, other subjects teachers would teach the class except in the absence of the absentee teacher.

The National Supervisor of the workshop, Mr Cephas Dugblorwu, in his closing remarks, congratulated both the participants and the facilitators on the zeal and commitment during the training workshop.

He, therefore, entreated the participants to practise what they had learnt for the aims and objectives to be achieved.