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09.08.2004 General News

Teacher Training Colleges to begin Diploma programme

By GNA

Accra, Aug. 9, GNA - Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, Minister for Education, Youth and Sports (MOEYS), on Monday said though the Teacher Training Colleges (TTCs) would from September this year offer Diploma courses, they were yet to be upgraded to tertiary status.

He said even though the process would begin this year the requisite laws would have to be passed before the Colleges could be upgraded. Mr Baah-Wiredu announced this in a speech read for him by Mr Micheal Nsowah, Acting Director General of the Ghana Education Service (GES), at the opening of a three-day workshop for Principals of TTCs under the theme: "Capacity Building; In Change Management."

He said the upgrading of the Three-Year Post Secondary Certificate 'A' Teacher Training Programme was in line with efforts by the MOEYS and GES to ensure quality education delivery in the country's basic schools, adding that a curriculum for the Diploma had been finalized based on the semester and course systems.

He said the idea to upgrade the programmes to Diploma status was conceived as far back as 1992, as part of the Regional Colleges of Applied Arts, Science and Technology Institutes Programme.

He said the Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education (FCUBE) Document and the Basic Education Sector Improvement Programme published by the Ministry of Education in 1996 also stated that basic education teachers would have a minimum qualification of Diploma in Basic Education.

The Minister said the document noted that graduates of TTCs and other tertiary institutions would henceforth be trained to come out with the minimum requirement of a Diploma in basic education.

He said based on this, restructuring of TTCs began with the new pre-service teacher training programme known as In-In-Out in 1999/2000, adding that the Professional Board of the Institute of Education, University of Cape Coast examined the programme run by the TTCs and raised concerns about the designation of the certificate, which the Board considered inappropriate and had outlived its usefulness as no teacher training institution worldwide awarded certificates to pre-service teachers.

Moreover the GES Council endorsed the policy of upgrading the TTCs into Diploma colleges at its 49th meeting in March 2001, he said.

Mr Baah-Wiredu said UNESCO had provided vital equipment including a copy Printer, LCD overhead projector and two Laptops with all accessories to enhance the work of the Teacher Education Division, the lead implementation division in-charge of upgrading programmes. UNESCO was also assisting in the funding of the review of policy document on basic teacher education.

The Minister said government had earmarked adequate financial resources to ensure the success of the upgrading programme, adding that the Ghana education Trust Fund (GETFund) had also been approached to assist in the refurbishment of libraries, laboratories, workshops and other infrastructure facilities to enable the Colleges run the Diploma programme.

He said the University of Cape Coast would continue to be the certifying institution for the award of the Diploma in basic education. Mrs Margaret Benneh, Director Teacher Education Division, expressed the hope that the programme would attract competent youth into the teaching profession and increase the number of teachers in basic education.

She appealed to participants to take the training seriously and participate fully since it was expected to adequately prepare them to face the challenges ahead and ensure a smooth take off.

Mr Joseph Kingsley Aboagye, Director Institute of Education, University of Cape Coast, who chaired the function, said the upgrading process was long overdue and expressed the hope that the implementation of the new programme would raise the image of the profession.

The workshop is sponsored by UNESCO and is being attended by 42 participants, who would be taken through topics including: "The Overview of the Basic Teacher Education Policy;" "Managing Semester Course Unit System in Colleges;" "Developing Strategic Planning for College Efficiency;" "Mobilizing Staff and Resources for Higher Productivity-Implications for the Principal;" "Teacher Education, Prospects and Challenges" and "Modular Training of the Untrained Teachers: Role of the Teacher Training Colleges."

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