11.05.2005 Education

Education reforms take off in Teacher Training Colleges

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Accra, May 11, GNA - Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Minister of Education and Sports on Wednesday announced that the implementation of the new educational reforms begun today (Wednesday) with Teacher Training Colleges.

The Minister made this known at a meeting with Principals and Heads of Training Colleges to discuss the role of the two groups in the implementation of the white paper on the new education reform in Accra. He said the white paper highlighted the importance of continuous teacher development, which would be undertaken to upgrade and update the competencies and skills of serving teachers to enable them to offer quality teaching and learning in schools.

Mr Osafo-Maafo said the quality of education could only be sustained by well-prepared, equipped and motivated teachers, who would love to grow and stay in the system and be happy as professional teachers.

The new reform was starting with the training colleges because they had been entrusted with the main task of ensuring teaching and learning in basic schools, saying, "it will require the training of individuals who are well balanced with requisite knowledge, aptitude skills, values, and attitudes to become functional and productive citizens."

Mr Osafo-Maafo said government had noted with concern the numerous challenges facing teacher education; especially the lack of sufficiently trained teachers and was committed to improving the condition, which was central to the success of the educational reforms.

He said a number of measures, including new programmes were on-going to upgrade the competences of the teacher, while infrastructure projects such as well-equipped and resourced libraries, computer laboratories and workshops, to facilitate their learning processes.

The Minister said a process of re-structuring of in-service training within the Ghana Education Service had also started, adding that the process would be institutionalised to replace the present ad hoc nature, which had contributed to non-performances.

He said the new process, which was being supported by JICA would ensure that serving teachers now followed a continuous and well-structured in-service programme to strengthen their skills and update their knowledge.

He said the White Paper also placed emphasis on the training of teachers for Sciences, Mathematics, Technical, Agriculture and French and had mandated one college in each region to produce teachers in Technical skills.

Mr Osafo-Marfo said 10 regional Colleges offering technical skills would be refurbished and strengthened with the needed resources to also produce teachers in science and mathematics for the proposed Junior High School.

He therefore, urged District Directors of Education to critically look at their teacher needs, especially in science and mathematics, so that the supply of these teachers would be demand driven.

"In this case when such categories of teachers complete their course and are posted to Districts there would be available places for them, instead of some Districts not having places for them as happened in the past," he said.

The Minister called for strengthening partnership between both local and international partners as well as their support in the provision of resources for the Teacher Training Colleges (TTC) programme to ensure its success.

Mr Michael Nsowah, Acting Director General, GES, noted that making education respond to current challenges required a lot of inputs and sacrifices and therefore urged the TTC to design strategic plans to ensure that their visions were attained.

"The whole reform would depend on the training colleges," he said.

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