General News of 2014-05-25

Let’s groom independent thinkers – Prof. Kwapong

A lecturer at the Institute of Continuing and Distance Education, University of Ghana, Legon, Professor Olivia Kwapong, has suggested the need for the nation to groom independent thinkers for the well-being of the society.

In this regard, she has charged the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service to review the teaching and learning approach in the schools to reflect this reality.

She said the country had evolved from the practice and philosophy of behaviourism where other students were expected to behave in a way that showed that they were directed with little or no deviation.

She said any attempt by students to deviate from prescribed norm as in the contents, notes or textbook made teachers to mark them wrong with little or no room for innovation, thereby encouraging “chew pour, pass and forget” syndrome.

Prof. Kwapong spoke on the topic: “Quality Teacher Education – A pre-requisite for National Development” at the Seventh Congregation of the 2013 students of the Presbyterian College of Education, Akropong Akuapem in the Eastern Region. The occasion also saw the homecoming of the old students of the college (Adikanfo).

Two hundred and eighty-three students graduated. Out of the number, two students had first-class, 90 had second-class upper, 154 had second-class lower and 37 had third-class.

“As we use the not grooming independent thinker approach but rather a dependent attitude/culture, we succeed in becoming dependants, especially on government,” she said.

According to Prof. Kwapong, the country needed to enforce the philosophy of developing the holistic individual plus the arts in our teaching and learning approach.

Prof. Kwapong said apart from medical conditions, no one was dumb or unintelligent. She explained that so far as a student could mention his/her name, that person could study and develop his/her potential.

She explained that what was needed was to have the appropriate environment to unleash our potentials. That, she said, had a lot to do with the way students were assessed.

Prof. Kwapong said the recall approach was not provocative enough for students to think, process, and relate to information.

She suggested the adoption of the project – oriented approaches to assess students for immediacy of application and innovativeness.

She said students should be given the opportunity to innovate and policy makers in education must make the classroom a laboratory for generating ideas and projects for implementation.

The guest speaker said there was the need for a national orientation on our attitudes towards career. She said the growing rate of unemployment should tell us that we needed to reorient and adopt an approach that would work for the whole nation.

She suggested the introduction of entrepreneurship into every discipline so that the people being taught would graduate with an entrepreneurship mindset.

“Society is changing and we also need to be dynamic in our educational service to be able to build human capital that could turn things around for a better society," she concluded.

The Principal of the college, Rev. Samuel Antwi Yeboah, in his report said the year under review saw a massive intake of PTC’s normal quota of 300 to 600 students. That, he said, necessitated an increment in almost all existing facilities such as lecture rooms, dining halls, the centenary chapel, and the purchase of new classroom furniture.

He said an appeal for funds launched last year enabled the college to buy a new 500 KVA caterpillar generator.

In addition, Bank of Ghana also donated a slightly used 1000KVA generator to the college. Also, Unibank donated GH¢5,000 and the highest individual donor, Adikanfo (old PTC Student) Nana Justice Omari Sasu also donated GH¢5,000 towards the purchase of the generator.

Rev. Antwi –Yeboah said currently, the college needed a complete change of all its electrical system, re-roofing of the college’s centenary chapel, reconstruction of the college gate, rehabilitation of the male halls one and two, construction of access road behind the female main hall, and an extension of the guest house.

The principal urged the graduates to see their graduation as a catalyst to propel them to achieve more laurels in life.

He also charged them to let their lessons have positive effects on their students in the classrooms to promote quality education in the basic schools where they would be teaching.

The Chairman of the Governing Council of the college, Rev. J.O.Y. Mante, who also doubled as the chairperson for the function, used the occasion to launch a five-year strategic plan (2014-2018) of the college and appealed to the government to build new administrative block to befit the status of the college as the mother of all colleges.

Prof. Frederick Ocansey, the Director of the Institute of Education, University of Cape Coast, who conferred the Diploma on the graduates on behalf of the Vice Chancellor said ineffective supervision, lack of facilities and Teaching and Learning Materials (TLMs) were the setbacks in basic education delivery in the country.

“You can train the teacher but when there is no effective supervision and TLMs, the teacher cannot provide the needed quality education delivery," Prof. Ocansey stressed.

Messrs Moses Adrah and Opare-Ababio Edward were given a cash prize of GH¢300 each for achieving first-class honours.

Source: graphic.com.gh
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