Teacher trainees have been called upon to complement the government’s efforts at finding solutions to educational challenges by improvising teaching and learning materials to supplement inadequate materials in the system.
In finding solutions to the educational challenges, there was the need to protect the few educational resources in the country and encourage parents to motivate their wards to attend school regularly and take their studies seriously.
The President of the Students Representative Council (SRC), of St. John Bosco’s Training College of Education, Mr Nsoh Philip Ayindoo, said this during the annual week celebration of the SRC at Navrongo in the Kassena-Nankana West District of the Upper East Region on the theme “Finding Solutions to the Millennium Educational Challenges: Our Priority”.
He said the theme was geared towards creating awareness of the general public, stakeholders and students to the fact that educational challenges were numerous which government alone could not tackle.
He said the SRC was supposed to work with the college administration and educational stakeholders for development rather than engaging in acts of hooliganism as had been perceived by the general public.
Mr Ayindoo said the college was currently faced with the problem of student accommodation, adding that the few residential accommodation were in a deplorable state with the ladies fence serving as a death trap, Vampire bats have invaded the ceilings of the buildings, especially the lecture halls and dormitories, producing serious stench which was making life uncomfortable for them.
He, therefore, appealed to the government to connect their computer laboratory to the Internet to enable them access information which could help them not only in their studies, but also in their research work.
The Deputy Upper East Regional Minister, Mrs Lucy Awuni, said there could be no meaningful and far- reaching reforms in the educational system if it was not teacher-centred, and the government was therefore committed to the policy of upgrading all teacher training colleges to diploma awarding institutions.
She noted that this policy had a lot of implications and challenges for all stakeholders if maximum benefits were to be derived from the policy.
In the first place, the curricula of colleges of education should be structured to produce skilful, well- informed and confident teachers which demanded the upgrading of academic staff and teaching facilities.
Mrs Awuni said the transition of teacher training colleges into tertiary institutions came with as much autonomy as with responsibility for management. In this regard, management will be required to possess strategic leadership skills, maintain high standards of teaching and learning and, above all, remain committed to continuous professional development, she added.
She said these challenges were formidable and demanded the goodwill of stakeholders, including the SRCs of the colleges of education.
She said the role of SRCs in the management of educational institutions had been firmly established over the years and they were now being considered as an integral part of the management of colleges.
Mrs Awuni appealed to stakeholders in education to match their expectations of higher standards with appropriate support and motivation for teachers, saying “if we all play our respective roles effectively, we will surely see greater improvements in the standards of teaching and learning in our schools and colleges”.