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Making the Teacher trainee more relevant to our classrooms in Ghana

TeachersNEW A teacher teaching

Sun, 26 May 2019 Source: Joe Kingsley Eyiah

Education is the biggest enterprise in any civilized society. Granted the fact that education is one of the most important tools for national development it becomes the responsibility of any progressive government anywhere to provide and promote sound educational policies as well as infrastructure that will help its people to acquire knowledge, skills and attitudes that enable them to develop their potentials. The founding President of Ghana, Dr. Nkrumah understood this very well. He, therefore, expanded the opportunities for all Ghanaians to have some education. There was mass education for adult Ghanaians who were above school-going age. More importantly, the formal sector of education in Ghana saw rapid development under President Nkrumah.

Since then our nation, to be specific, our subsequent governments have tried to reform our education system to meet our national needs over the years. Regrettably, the role of the teacher or the teacher trainee (tomorrow’s classroom teacher) has often been overlooked or downplayed by the politicians in these educational reforms. The important role of the teacher/teacher trainee has been unfortunately sacrificed on the ‘altar of political ideology’! This must stop for the sake of making our teachers pivotal to any meaningful education reform in our country.

From time immemorial, teaching has been a noble profession. From the days of Socrates to the time of Paul of the Bible students/graduates had spoken highly of their teachers (also called masters in some instances). The Holy Bible mentions teaching as one of the three top spiritual gifts from God that we must desire most for the growth of His church (read 1 Corth. 12:28). Interesting! Teachers make the medical doctors, the lawyers, the accountants, the engineers, the agriculturalists, the musicians, the pastors, the politicians, the nurses, the computer analysts and many other workers who contribute effectively to the building of a nation anywhere.

Teachers are undoubtedly the ‘oil which greases the wheels of any education reforms.’ They must, therefore, be well prepared for our schools throughout the country to facilitate learning and smooth transition for students from one level of the educational ladder to another.

This calls for the involvement of the education committees at the district assemblies in effectively recruiting potential and capable teachers for training at the Teacher Training Colleges and their subsequent postings to primary schools in the districts. The programs at the Teacher Training Colleges must also be made to address the needs of teaching in our schools effectively. For, the teacher trainee of today is the classroom teacher of tomorrow! The role of the teacher trainee in redefining education in our nation is very crucial.

With the adequate preparation of teachers, well-equipped classrooms and effective supervision of teaching at the basic education level, for example, Ghana will be on track to solving the problem of poor results of the Junior and Senior High School Certificate Examinations in the country.

The teacher trainee must acquaint himself or herself very well with goes on daily in the classroom. This calls for adequate time and opportunity for the trainee to do on ground practicum or attachment to schools during his/her training as a teacher. It then becomes incumbent on the teacher trainee to devise or develop teaching practices which seek to advance or promote teaching and learning in our classrooms. Thus, the teacher trainee must be seen as an indispensable catalyst in the classroom for students’ learning.

Cultural Relevance Pedagogy (CRP) is key to successful teaching in any school. The teacher trainee must abreast himself or herself with CRP in order to make any meaningful contribution to redefining education in our schools for students success.

Columnist: Joe Kingsley Eyiah