The circuit based meetings are delivered by Ghana Education Service officers. The meetings bring together teachers and head teachers from schools in a geographical area (a circuit). The AAK district in the Central Region has seven circuits.
These meetings are also a key sustainability activity. We are in the final year of our districtwide in-service teacher training project in AAK and activities this year are focusing on the Ghana Education Service taking on responsibility for maintaining the teaching quality in the schools. The meetings provide an opportunity to address any challenges teachers are facing and to share successes, they are also useful to provide refresher training.
The meetings took place in January 2020 reaching 227 participants. The meetings were each about five hours long and were delivered to two cohorts that had different needs. The first cohort were the teachers and head teachers who had been involved in year one of this project and who had received a year of in-service teacher training. The focus for this cohort was any challenges being faced due to the introduction of the new curriculum in September 2019. Teachers were helped to develop different activities to be used as on the table top and outdoors. How best to structure the lesson plan to achieve the active and play based method was also covered.
The second cohort comprised of teachers who had not received the training in year one of the project. These teachers were new to the district and joined schools in September 2019 as newly qualified teachers, National Service teachers and National Builders Corp (NABCO) personnel. Circuit Supporters with the help of the Kindergarten Coordinator and teacher trainers used the circuit based meetings to carry out training for these new teachers. The meeting covered how to develop classroom rules with the children, how to divide the class into groups using self-registration cards, how the daily plan is used, how to write lesson plans and how to deliver number talk and story sharing.
Some of the successes shared in the meetings included how helpful classroom management strategies had been, teachers no longer felt the need to be shouting in the classroom. Children were gaining a lot from having learning centres set up in their classrooms and were communicating freely at the various centres which is helping them modify their social skills and speak more fluently.
Some challenges raised at the meetings includes the difficulties in getting appropriate teaching and learning resources to deliver some of the themes in the new curriculum and also a lack of appropriate tables and chairs for children.
In conversation with one of the Circuit Supervisors, Mr. Zardock Saa Acquah, he was really impressed by the teacher training and how helpful this term’s meeting will be for all the kindergarten teachers especially the top-up training they had on the lesson plan preparation.
Below are some pictures from the Asebu Circuit Based Meeting.