Over two hundred basic school teachers in the Wa Municipality of the Upper West Region are undergoing a training to sharpen their knowledge and teaching skills. The teachers, mainly drawn from the Catholic Education Unit, are receiving hands on training on various strategies to improve on their delivery.
The four-day training is organised by Rescue to Effective Learning through Creative Application and Sustainable Opportunities for All-Ghana, Relcaso Ghana, in collaboration with the Catholic Education Unit and the Ghana Education Service.
Participants are taken through topics such as creative pedagogies, Relcaso Ghana’s Action packs, integrating creative arts in teaching, barriers to learning and practical lesson demonstration.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Chief Executive Officer of Relcaso Ghana, Williams Ayaaba Akongbabre, said the training formed part of the preparatory activities towards the implementation of Quality Assurance Project in basic schools within the Catholic Education Unit.
Mr Akongbabre said technological assisted innovations are used to enhance work in fields such as banking, farming, journalism and marketing among others. This, he noted had made the task of the worker easier and also increased productivity. He cited for example Automated Tailor Machines, ATM, hair dryers and computers for bankers and office administrators.
The CEO of Relcaso Ghana said when it comes to the work of a teacher at the basic level, little or no innovation is done aimed at making the task easy to enable the teacher to make more input to the work particularly in the classroom.
This, he explained made Relcaso Ghana to carefully design and commence a partial implementation of the Quality Assurance Project in 2017 to complement the efforts of the Ghana Education Service and all other actors in education.
Mr Akongbabre intimated that before the introduction of the Standard Based Curriculum in September last year, his organisation had designed, printed and distributed to schools elaborate and self-explanatory teaching and learning materials called the “Action Packs”.
With the introduction of the Standard Based Curriculum, the organisation, he said has re-organised the curriculum into teachable items now refers to as facilitation notes. This enables the teacher to have a deeper understanding of the various strands, sub-strands indicators and examplars in the Standard Based Curriculum for successful lesson delivery.
He indicated that Relcaso Ghana’s Quality Assurance Project was first piloted in seven selected schools in Wa. After a successful implementation, the Methodist Education Unit has now rolled it out in all Methodist basic schools in the region. The project is also being piloted in five regions including Ashanti, Northern and Upper East.
The Relcaso Ghana CEO said, “our Quality Assurance Project has so many SMART innovations in it such that if fully rolled-out and extended to benefit many basic schools in Ghana, it would lead to higher levels of quality education which the new standard based curriculum seeks to achieve.”
A facilitator of the training, Emmanuel Osuman, who took the teachers through the topic “A Professional Teacher”, said the National Teachers Standard, NTS requires of teachers to be skillful and maintain professional standards.
Mr Osuman who is also a tutor at the NJA College of Education in Wa said NTS is critical in shaping teachers behavior as it guides their progression and practice. He said today’s teachers need to possess what he calls the 21st century skills by becoming a critical thinkers.
“Teachers should not downplay the knowledge and skills of learners. They should also take advantage of what learners or children already know and build on it when teaching them,” the facilitator Mr Osuman noted.
Commenting on a skilled teacher, Mr Osuman said he or she must be knowledgeable in the subject matter as well as knowing the learning strategies.
“Some learn by seeing, or by touching while others learn by doing. All these must be taken into consideration,” the facilitator intimated.
He added that a professional teacher should use concepts clearly, using examples familiar with the learners. Mr Osuman chastised teachers who disgrace pupils when they perform abysmally in class. He said such students should be given a positive feedback to encourage them to improve on their performance. Similar training was organised for 224 Methodist Education Unit teachers in the Wa Municipality of the region.
Story filed by Sualah Abdul-wahab.