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3 things that must happen to Ghana’ s school system after coronavirus

Tue, 16 Jun 2020 Source: Kojo Darko Sakyi-Gyinae

The educational sector unarguably was one of the most hit by Covid-19 in Ghana. Schools were closed as a result of the pandemic. Teachers were rendered temporarily redundant whiles students have had to adjust to unfamiliar learning frameworks, online and radio/TV virtual learning. Although, Covid-19 exposed our school system, here are three things we must quickly adopt and integrate into our school system as school gradually reopen

Build a learning ecosystem

All over the world, there are new emerging forms of learning frameworks and these are called ‘learning ecosystems’. The concept of learning ecosystems challenges longstanding assumptions that education traditionally takes place in enclosed buildings(schools) with a given teaching staff, homogeneous characteristics and standardized curricula, all based on the notion that ‘one size fits most’.

After COVID19 shut down our schools here in Ghana, government was forced adopt new forms of learning frameworks – online and virtual learning on radio/TV. Although students admit, these are alien, they proved useful for studies.

Making these a permanent feature and integrating such learning frameworks into our school system, create a ‘learning ecosystem’ built on innovation and creativity outside traditional brick and mortar classroom. Beyond challenging traditional teaching forces and partners, these new learning frameworks erases the limit of where learning happens and how it is conducted, orchestrated, integrated and assessed.

Maximize digital learning

In our classrooms today, students face forward with the teacher at the head of the class delivering lessons/instructions on a white board with a marker. This teaching method is gradually becoming obsolete, thanks to digital innovations. Today,many of our classrooms look, feel and sound very much the same way they did when our grandparents were in school. But the truth is most students, whether at a category A school like St. Augustine’s College or a Category D school like Bompata Presby Senior high have the world at their fingertips.

They have smart phones, computers, laptops and tablets that enables them text, chat and connect with their friends all over the world. The world is different now than it looked 30years ago. Because of this we must find a way to bring technology into the classroom and deliver lessons in a more engaging and creative way using digital methods such as animation, video lessons, infographics etc Creative and engaging digital learning content has proven to be one of the most effective means of maximizing learning and helping students gain knowledge and skills. The world is moving away from textbooks and we mustn’t be left behind. We must there find a way to integrate technology and digital learning into our classrooms.

Develop an adaptive workforce

Our world as we know it today has been greatly transformed in every aspect, economically, socially, politically and technologically due to COVID-19 which has paved way for massive digital transformation, innovation and creativity. Truth is, this is the next normal. Here in Ghana, schools were left with no option than to adapt to new learning frameworks. Lessons have been delivered using google class, WhatsApp groups, social media, zoom etc.

This means teaching staff must be adaptive and receptive to the new norm. Becoming adaptive means being able to constantly change, reinvent, initiate and innovate in the face of an uncertain and challenging future. Building the digital skills and capacities of teachers and teacher trainees is a sure way of developing an adaptive human resources for our school system.

Columnist: Kojo Darko Sakyi-Gyinae
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