The Principal of Kumasi College of Technology Education, Professor James Flolu, has observed that Ghana needs to diversify the process of teacher accreditation and certification in the country if education is to be strengthened.
He said the country must not be complacent with the way students in teacher education institutions received certification only from the University of Cape Coast (UCC).
Prof. Flolu made the remarks when he spoke as the Guest Speaker at the Seventh Congregation of the Evangelical Presbyterian (EP) College of Education at Amedzofe.
He said the situation where almost all programmes in teacher training institutions in the country were tailored to meet the requirements of only the UCC needed to be looked at again.
Speaking on the theme, “Quality Teacher Education, Key to Sustainable Education in Ghana”, he observed that many Ghanaians were becoming increasingly concerned about the quality of teaching and the future of education in the country because of the poor performance of students in final examinations.
Even though he applauded the government for upgrading all the 38 teacher training colleges to tertiary status, he said it was time other tertiary institutions and universities were encouraged to also exercise supervisory roles over teacher education in the country.
According to him, it would not only bring about competition but would also challenge other institutions to introduce creativity, innovation and modernity into the teaching profession.
Following their elevation to tertiary status, Prof. Flolu said, training colleges must offer specialised courses as was being done in the universities and polytechnics.
“For instance, having speciality in subjects such as Mathematics, Science and English instead of having tuition in general education will help solve challenges facing the education sector,” he said.
He said globally, “it has been acknowledged that the quality of teachers is an important factor in achieving qualitative education” and further emphasised that “it is only through relevant and qualitative programmes that competent teachers can be produced to provide improved teaching and learning in our schools”.
Prof. Flolu called for continuous development of professional teachers, and suggested that it must be an integral part of teacher education. In view of this, he said there must be frequent in-service training programmes for teachers.
He said teaching was a noble profession, and urged teachers to improve upon their the competencies of their teaching methods and attend in-service training regularly. He said they must also endeavour to research for new information from books, newspapers, novels and the Internet.
A total of 445 students graduated from the college passing out with Diploma in Basic Education awarded by the UCC. In addition, 206 students received Teachers Certificate ‘A’ after successfully completing their course of study.
The Principal of the college, Rev. Sylvanus Kwasi Tettey, expressed worry over the decaying school buildings in the college. He said the structures were very old and did not meet the standards required of a teacher training institution in the 21st century.
“We want all our buildings renovated and refurbished,” he appealed.
The Deputy Volta Regional Minister, Mr Francis Ganyaglo, urged teacher training institutions to embrace the recent decision to transfer teacher trainees onto the student loan trust since the move was in the best interest of the country.
He further advised teachers to accept postings to wherever their services were needed. He observed that even though a large number of teachers graduated from college each year, there was still shortage of teachers, particularly in deprived communities and rural areas of the country.
Source: Daily Graphic
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