Ghana’s 4-year teacher degree programme gets international praise — Education Minister
A panel of expert international assessors have described Ghana’s new teacher trainee curriculum as “truly world class” in the light of introduction of the 4-year Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) degree in Initial Teacher Education for all new entrants of the teacher education system. This became known by the Minister of State in charge of Tertiary Education, Professor Kwesi Yankah, who read a keynote at the just ended Transforming Teacher Education and Learning (T-TEL) project learning event on behalf of the Minister of Education Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh. According to him, the 4-year B.Ed programme has at its heart a 30% provision for practical teaching for student teachers which represent a complete shift from the culture of written examination after written examination. The degree programme is part of a curriculum reform and development within teacher education institutions is supported by T-TEL. All the 46 colleges of education have been accredited to run affiliate courses for 5 public universities leading to the award of a B.Ed degree. The T-TEL team through their support helped the universities in their work with the colleges to develop and implement the curriculum in several ways including workshops on inclusion and the use of Universal Design for Learning.
The learning event was held for the project implementers and beneficiary stakeholders mainly the various colleges of education to present results on the 6-year T-TEL project which concludes this year. The project is run by the Government of Ghana with funding from UK aid and supported by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) of the UK Government. Delivering the keynote address on behalf of the Minister of Education, the Minister of State in charge of Tertiary Education, Prof Kwesi Yankah said, “Teacher education in Ghana has been truly transformed in ways we could only have imagined back in 2014” and that all 46 colleges of education, the National Council for Tertiary Education, the National Teaching Council, the National Accreditation Board, the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, the National Inspectorate Board, the Ghana Education Service, the five mentoring universities, T-TEL and all others involved in Ghana’s teacher education sector should be proud of what has been achieved over the 6 years period the project has run. He goes further to say that nearly 90% of college principals are leading by example and showing a defined set of leadership and management skills as against 34% at the start of the programme in 2014. College principals have been empowered to lead college wide self-evaluation, strategic development planning, policy development and to become true leaders of learning and transformational change agents. On gender equality and social inclusion, the Minister said significant gains have been made to ensure that colleges and public schools are safe and inclusive for all regardless of their abilities and challenges. A 5-year National Gender Equity and Social Inclusion Strategy is being implemented by all 46 colleges of education alongside a National Sexual Harassment Policy and a national Gender and Inclusion Policy for Colleges of Education.
Over the course of implementation of the T-TEL project, the proportion of tutors demonstrating an understanding and application of the National Teachers’ Standards has risen from 60.1% to 80.2%. Also the percentage of student teachers who are demonstrating higher levels of expected “graduate attributes” identified in the curriculum writing guide grew by 52.5%. Inclusive, gender-sensitive environment for all staff and teachers at the colleges of education increased from 17.4% to 37.5%.
nearly 90% of college principals are leading by example and showing a defined set of leadership and management skills as against 34% at the start of the programme.
On his part, the Development Director of FCDO, Philip Smith hoped that long-standing collaboration between the Government of Ghana and the UK Government to Transforming Teacher Education in Ghana would lead to better learning outcomes. Teacher education reform must continue regardless of conclusion of the T-TEL project, he said.
The project lead of T-TEL Ghana, Robin Todd expressed appreciation to the National Council for Tertiary Education and all colleges of education for their participation in the project and allowing those reforms to happen in the teacher education space. He said T-TEL was only a vehicle for the transformation but the real credit must go to the colleges of education for their efforts in implementing the project.