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31.07.2019 Feature Article

Training On New Curriculum: Include All Teachers

Training On New Curriculum: Include All Teachers
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I have always been in favour of curriculum reforms. There have been several reforms in our national curriculum from the colonial to post colonial era hence this current one should not come as a news. The Anamuah Mensah educational reform came along with a new curriculum in 2007 which has been in use for the past twelve years, apparently making a curriculum change long overdue.

The training of teachers, the implementers of this new standard based curriculum is very pivotal to its success or other otherwise. Over the years, training programmes organised for teachers have usually taken place in the course of the academic term where there is active teaching and learning, resulting in massive waste of instructional hours. Kudos to the Ghana Education Service(GES)and the Ministry of Education for slating this training programme for the vacation period.

My little worry, however, about this training programme has got to do with the total exclusion of Junior High School teachers. Cosmetically, it makes sense to exclude them because the JHS will continue with the old curriculum next academic year (2019/20) and will begin using the new curriculum in the following academic year when the Basic Stage 6 pupils (having passed through the new curriculum) enter the JHS. This means that the JHS teachers may have their training programme on the new curriculum next year.

In Ghanaian Basic schools, it is the policy of the GES to transfer teachers to "where their services are needed". By this, JHS teachers can be reassigned to the Primary or the Kindergarten and vice versa. What happens to the smooth implementation of the curriculum if a JHS teacher who did not attend the workshop is reassigned to the Primary level? What if a Primary or Kindergarten teacher is also transferred to a Junior High School? Will the training be a waste?

Another troubling part of this story is that all teachers who have applied for release to different districts are yet to know their fate. If their release letter had been ready by now, they would have known whether they are posted to the Kindergarten, Primary or JHS. This would inform them whether to take part in the training or not. To their chagrin, there has been a temporary ban on teacher releases by the Director General of Education as their fate still hang in the balance.

I also think by now the newly trained teachers who just completed their national service should have received their letters of postings so that those posted to the Kindergarten and Primary would join the training programme on the standard based curriculum.

I would finally implore the GES to come clear on whether JHS, Primary and Kindergarten teachers would permanently remain at their various levels from next academic year. If not, then the training on the new curriculum should include all teachers to ensure versatility of teachers at the various levels of the Basic education.