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OLE Ghana Publications # 3

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Teacher Quality: Key To Quality Education  Delivery in Ghana         
By Cecilia Tutu-Danquah posted September 2011, OLE Ghana   

The Ghanaian educational system has gone through lots of reforms since independence. It is as if the system changes with each passing wind. These changes and reforms are all in a bid to keep pace with the ever changing global trends. Globalization has brought in its wake tremendous effects to all spheres of human life. Its effects could well be a threat or an opportunity.

To successfully face the global challenges and to take full advantage of the opportunities offered by globalization, we need the  requisite qualified human resource which can only be the product of a quality education delivery system. It is true that many factors come together to ensure the delivery of quality education. But one factor stands tall among them all; The Teacher. Truth be told without a new kind of teacher we can have several reforms it will be impossible to deliver quality education.   

The new kind of teacher is expected to exhibit certain qualities. He/she must have a global perspective on issues, should have and continually develop the knowledge and skills in learning technologies to be able to appropriately and responsibly use tools, resources, processes, and systems to retrieve, assess and evaluate information from various media. He/she should be able to use these knowledge and skills to assist learners in solving problems, communicating clearly, making informed  decisions, and in constructing new knowledge, products, or systems in diverse, engaged learning environments. He/she must be professional minded innovative, inspiring, confident, and morally upright.

But how do we get this kind of teacher? Perhaps for starters we need to attract first class students to the colleges of education and teacher training universities. Then we will have to work hard at retaining them in the education system once they finish their training. In this regard government should pay enough attention to teachers' welfare and make conditions of service more attractive.   

There is the need to integrate technology applications into both in-service and pre-service teacher assignment and activities, especially learning and teaching methods and practices where technology could be used to learn and to facilitate learning. We must create a school culture in which teachers assume leadership roles in school decision-making, where collaboration occurs on a regular basis, professional development is ongoing, and new teachers are supported to settle and grow.   

There should be the recognition that becoming a qualified and professional teacher is a long term developmental process. That teacher quality is not solely determined by a credential or degree, neither is it static but rather has a characteristic that evolves throughout a teacher’s career. It should be seen as an attribute that grows or diminishes based on factors such as conditions in which a teacher works, personal motivation, and opportunities for growth  attention to in-service training.   

Perhaps the next time the wind of change blows across the education spectrum one will wish that it blows the way of the teacher education front so that we will have the 'new teacher' we all desire; one who will lead the  crusade for the delivery of quality education. We therefore need to pay more attention to in-service training and we need to be discerning in the kinds of  professional development opportunities we present to teachers.

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