We are excited to announce that the two training years of our Fast-track Transformational Teacher Training project in the Western Region of Ghana are now complete.
Ahead of the closing ceremony we held a Programme Management Meeting to bring together key stakeholders to discuss the progress made and the sustainability of the project. In attendance were representatives from the regional directorate, representatives from the seven district education directorates, representatives from Holy Child College of Education and trainers. During the meeting, various representatives made presentations on the successes and challenges of the project, how they planned to embed the successes and what actions they would take to overcome the challenges. Ghana Education Service pledged to support in strengthening supervision at all levels, ensuring circuit base meetings take place and also putting in place policies to retain trained teachers in the schools.
In the morning a two hour ‘moving on meeting’ was held with teachers and head teachers as well as trainers to round up all activities. Teachers who had certain reservations had their fears allayed and were well equipped with strategies for dealing with challenges that they might encounter whilst they begin to independently implement their learning. Teachers and head teachers were thrilled at the transformation they had seen and what they had achieved in two years of being on the training project. Teachers and head teachers also shared the impact the project has had on the kindergarten children, children are more confident and are able to play well with their peers and also have the ability to express themselves freely.
During the closing ceremony, the Vice Principal of Holy Child College of Education, Mr. Kojo Prah in his welcome address was of the view that, “for senior high level to function well, it depends on the quality of students they receive from the basic schools which depend on the foundation laid at the kindergarten level, and that is what Sabre offers.” He maintained that, “teachers have been exposed to innovative pedagogical activities and processes in training early grade teachers……the lessons are so interactive and you never enter a Sabre classroom and come out forgetting what happened there”.
Teachers, head teachers, trainers and Ghana Education Service officers received certificates for their efforts in implementing the child centred approach in their schools. Out of the 40 classrooms on the project, 36 were duly certified and declared as Model Practice Classrooms to be receiving student teachers for their mentorship programme from the next academic term.
Josephine Theresa Mensah, Circuit Supervisor in the Shama District shared how the project has made a change in the schools she supervises:
“This project has enlightened a lot of teachers especially those in the kindergarten classrooms. At first, it was rhyme, rhyme, rhyme, but these days, the activity method has made the children very confident and has even regularised their absenteeism. Whenever they are coming to school, they feel happy, they know that they are coming to do something that would help them. And it has also improved teachers’ skills in teaching at centres, table tops and outdoor activities, in fact the teachers are actively involved in the teaching and the children too are enjoying it. We embrace it all and we wish that it will reign for ever and ever because it has really helped the circuit, the teachers and the children as well as circuit supervisors.”
Efua Amoakuwaa Quansah, District Director for the Shama District shared the difference the project has made to learning at the kindergarten level:
“The project has given life to teaching and learning. It brings inclusion into learning where participation is at its most for the children, that is, teacher and child involvement in teaching and learning, making everything so practical that even the weak ones turn to benefit. It is a very good project and if the government can adopt it wholly, it will be good and if possible, the primary schools especially the lower primary should be included in such a project.”
Abigail Owusua, teacher, Naval Base Basic School shared the difference the project has made to her as a teacher:
“By God’s grace I have had two years’ experience with the Sabre project. My aim is to reach every Ghanaian child with the training that has been given to me. I have a lot of experience and I now have in-depth knowledge in how to prepare Teaching and Learning Materials to meet various aspects of teaching and learning. Aside from that, I am confident enough to handle the children using rules, rewards and consequences as well. My children are now very confident when they are interacting with you because of the questioning method we employ during class activities.”
Nancy Peterson, teacher, Fawomaye D/A Basic School shared how the active, play based pedagogy has made a difference to her classroom:
“The child centred approach has really been helpful. We realised that the kids felt free, they felt at home and they had a conducive environment to really play and as they are playing they are learning which makes it interesting because the activities are repeated in different environments. Even though our training has now come to an end they have trained us to acquire the prerequisite skills and teaching and learning materials as well, we have the ability to improvise to be able to carry on with the programme.”
From all of us at Sabre Education, huge congratulations to all participants for your efforts and transformation over the past two years.
Whilst the training years are complete, the Fast-track Transformational Teacher Training project will not finish until July 2020. This final year focuses on working with the Ghana Education Service and College of Education as part of the handover to ensure sustainability and that the quality in the classrooms can be maintained into the future.