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Education needs better outlook

Professor Akwasi Asabere-Ameyaw, Vice Chancellor of the University of Education, Winneba, has noted that for total transformation of the educational system, questions about motivations, beliefs, attitudes and practices needed to be adequately addressed.
He said for instance the education reform “brings a number of challenges and we need to train specialists, increase access and at the same time improve quality in teacher education to meet the demands”.

The Vice Chancellor was addressing the first graduation ceremony of 256 diploma graduands of Berekum College of Education at Berekum in Brong Ahafo.

He mentioned the challenges as the introduction of a two year compulsory kindergarten component of primary school and the extension of senior secondary school from three to four years.

Other challenges, the Vice Chancellor said, were changes in curriculum, wide ranging demands on teacher education, technical, vocational and agricultural education and training.

Professor Asabere-Ameyaw stressed that if questions including how ready the teacher training institutions were, the staff strength of these institutions, the quality of the staff and to what extent the teachers were motivated were addressed, “we would have addressed the question on quality of the education system”.

He commended the government and the policy makers for upgrading teacher training colleges into tertiary institutions, but urged all to help raise the status of these colleges to “truly tertiary institutions”.
“The transformation should not be a cosmetic surgery or a window-dressing activity. It should involve a total and fundamental transformation of the way we teach and manage the education enterprise. It calls for total commitment by all stakeholders,” Professor Asabere-Ameyaw emphasised.

The Vice Chancellor said the change in the teacher preparation process required that all colleges in the country would be well resourced, a change in mentality and a complete conceptual switch in thinking and practices about teacher education.

“As a nation we must tackle it with all the seriousness it deserves and the transformation must go with extensive infrastructural development, provision of equipment, tools and materials that will enhance teaching, learning and research if these institutions are to produce graduates who can effect the changes we aspire in our basic schools,” he explained.

Professor Asabere-Ameyaw stressed that the curricular for these colleges needed to be structured to enable them to produce very skilful, well-informed and confident teachers who could conceptualize their teaching to make teaching and learning in schools relevant to the needs of society and the learner.
He said that as a matter of urgency, principals of colleges must set up committees from among their staff to plan for the reshaping of the colleges to befit the tertiary status and that unnecessary rituals that run counter to the training of well informed, self-motivated, independent and resourceful teachers must be done away with.

 The Vice Chancellor stressed the need for teachers to be empowered to participate in curriculum development, assessment and providing right training and re-training and to be economically sound so they could help the nation to realize the purpose for the current educational reform.

Professor Asabere-Ameyaw advised the graduands to remain committed to public service and the teaching profession, as they had been imbibed with excellence in scholarship, diligence and the essential virtues of life during their training.

Mr. Yaw Adjei-Sarkodie, Principal of the College, urged the graduands to exhibit the qualities imbued in them – perseverance, honesty, and respect for authority, dedication and commitment to duty, modesty, responsibility and professionalism.

“Let the interest of your pupils be your interest and promote good relationship with colleagues and the people in the communities that you will serve and promote environmental cleanliness and good health care, especially HIV/AIDS education,” he said.

The Principal advised the graduands to accept postings to where their services would be mostly needed.

GNA/Anna Marian Ardayfio
 [2009-05-26 08:51:38]

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