Kumasi, Oct. 25, GNA - The government has initiated a programme to provide professional training for all untrained teachers who are currently serving in public basic schools. The objective is to assist all serving untrained teachers to have access to professional teacher training and improve the quality of teaching and learning, especially in the under-served communities in the country.
The first phase of the programme dubbed Untrained Teachers Diploma in Basic Education (UTTDBE), which is a four-year distance education programme has started in the three northern regions and the Afram Plains District in the Eastern Region where about 6,000 candidates had already been enrolled.
Speaking at a sensitisation seminar for key stakeholders in education to introduce the programme in the Ashanti Region in Kumasi on Tuesday, Mrs Angelina Baiden-Amissah, Deputy Minister of Education in-charge of Basic and Teacher Education, said the overall purpose of the programme was to produce well trained and qualified basic education teachers who would inspire learners to realize their full potentials.
The participants included District Directors of Education, District Chief Executives, Circuit Supervisors, Principals of Teacher Training College, School Management Committees (SMCs), Parent-Teacher Associations (PTAs), Teacher-Training Co-ordinators among others. She said the government intended to provide the enabling environment for the Ministry of Education and Sports (MOES) and the Ghana Education Service (GES) to enrol about 60 per cent of the 24,000 untrained teachers currently working in basic schools into the UTTDBE programme between 2004 and 2006.
Mrs Baiden-Amisah said meeting teacher demand remained a great challenge to the MOES and GES due to insufficient numbers of trained teachers to match the demand for teachers in basic schools. She said by prioritising the training of untrained teachers, the government was demonstrating a formal commitment to poverty reduction and the Millennium Development Goals of education for all. Mrs Baiden-Amissah appealed to all stakeholders to play their part well to ensure the success of the programme.
Miss Lydia Osei, Deputy Director-General of the GES, said no district could be developed without the promotion of education and appealed to the district assemblies to show keen interest in the programme by encouraging untrained teachers in their communities to enrol.
Mrs Belinda Addo, Ashanti Regional Director of Education, said the programme would not only improve the professional competence of the untrained teacher, but would also impact positively on the pupils they teach.
She charged all stakeholders to play their roles effectively to ensure the success of the programme.