Teachers must undertake refresher programmes - Minister

BY: Musah Yahaya Jafaru
Some of the participants interacting with one another after the conference
Some of the participants interacting with one another after the conference

The Minister of Education, Professor Naana Jane Opoku Agyemang, has urged heads of educational institutions to ensure that all teachers undertake refresher programmes to update their knowledge and skills.

She said the refresher programmes should be undertaken by both new teachers and those who had been at post for a while “to update themselves of the new teaching and learning methods.”

Prof. Opoku Agyemang made the call in a speech read on her behalf at the third national stakeholder forum on curriculum review of teacher education in Accra last Friday. 

The forum served as a platform for the participants from the Ministry of Education, the Ghana Education Service (GES), colleges of education and other institutions to discuss the final draft of the Teacher Education Curriculum Framework.

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The framework hinges on four pillars namely, supported teaching practice, pedagogic knowledge, subject knowledge and literacy. 

Trained teachers

Prof. Opoku Agyemang said it was crucial for teachers to have access to ongoing training and be treated as professionals. 

She said the single biggest investment that the country could make was to give every child their rights to a good education through a well-qualified trained teacher.

For instance, she said a well-trained teacher would awaken joy in learning and stimulate expression and knowledge in his or her pupils.

The minister of education, therefore, tasked heads of schools to have well trained and inspirational teachers “to ensure that no child is left out.” 

“We need to build a solid foundation at the early grade and primary level to ensure that Ghanaian children are able to read and write and do simple arithmetic,” she said. 

Local languages

Prof. Opoku Agyemang welcomed a proposal in the curriculum framework, which recommended literacy in Ghanaian languages and English.

“This we believe will prepare teachers to improve pupil’s reading and writing in both the local language and English, and ultimately their learning outcomes,” she said.

Education policies

Prof. Opoku Agyemang said the Ministry of Education, in partnership with the Transforming Teacher Education and Learning (T-TEL), the Ghana Education Service (GES) and in consultation with regulatory and mentoring institutions, was working to transform the delivery of pre-service teacher education.

The idea, she said, was to improve the quality of teaching and learning.

Prof. Opoku Agyemang said the partnership had initiated a landmark journey for transforming teacher development and management that would accelerate growth of the country.

Teaching curriculum

The National Programme Manager of T-TEL, Mr Akwasi Addae-Boahene, said T-TEL remained committed to its mandate to ensure that colleges of education would ultimately become  fully functioning tertiary institutions.

For instance, he said the curriculum framework would set out the key elements that the pre-service teacher education curriculum should adhere to and against which the Diploma in Basic Education (DBE) curriculum could be reviewed.

Besides, Mr Addae-Boahene said T-TEL was working to support system change in teacher education to ensure every child’s entitlement to effective, engaging and inspirational teachers.