Michael Nsowah, Chairman of the Ghana Education Service (GES) Council has emphasised the need to prioritise in-service training for teachers to enable them to teach to improve pupils and students’ standard of learning.He said the best-trained teachers could only deliver as expected when they regularly undergo in-service training to properly prepare them for the job.
Mr Nsowah was speaking at an event in Tamale to learn and disseminate the outcome of the Discovery Project implemented by Impact(Ed) International, formerly Discovery Learning Alliance, a non-governmental organisation.
He called on headteachers to observe and single-out under-performing teachers in their schools and organise in-service training for them to improve their performance saying “I will rather take out the non-performing teachers from the classroom than leave them there to spoil the children.”
In-service training is a professional training or staff development effort, where professionals are trained to discuss their work with others in their peer group to help improve productivity.
Impact(Ed) International with funding from UK Aid through the Girls’ Education Challenge programme, and in close collaboration with GES and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) Ghana office, has worked for the last six years under the Discovery Project to improve teaching, learning and transition rates in 800 schools across 11 districts in the northern part of the country.
The districts included; Central Gonja, East Gonja, Karaga, Savelugu, Sagnarigu, Tamale Metropolis, Tolon, West Mmprusi, and Yendi.
Activities undertaken under the project included; providing educational media (television and video programmes), teacher training, coaching and mentoring to improve the quality of teaching and learning at the basic school level, and training for action planning for communities to define and carry out actions that reduced barriers to schooling especially for girls.
More than 216,000 learners, nearly 5,000 teachers and over 4,000 community members benefited from the project.
An external evaluation of the project found that self-efficacy of girls improved significantly as well as teaching practice in the area of teachers’ provision of a safe and inclusive environment for learning.
Some pupils, teachers, community members and circuit supervisors, who benefited from the project, praised it for contributing significantly to improving girls’ education in their communities.
Mr Andrew Jones, Vice President, Global Education Programmes, Impact(Ed) International (Headquarters) commended GES Directors and Teachers at the beneficiary districts for being champions of girls’ education in the region, saying “We are proud to leave behind a strong and committed team to continue to champion girls education and sustain the gains.”
Mr Sulley Mohammed, Tolon District Director of GES called on all stakeholders in the region to do their best to sustain the gains made by the project to improve learning outcomes amongst pupils.