We are delighted to share that we have completed the first Intensive Training Workshop for a new cohort of teachers, head teachers and Ghana Education Service officers across six districts in the Eastern region. These participants should have started receiving training from September 2020 but due to COVID-19 the training activities were postponed.

In year one of this teacher training project in the Eastern Region we were working with a small selection of 40 kindergarten schools (cohort 1). Cohort 2 that we have now begun working with includes every government kindergarten teacher across six districts and so it is a significant increase in beneficiaries.

The workshop focussed on why Early Childhood Education matters and the foundations of the play-based approach focusing on the neuroscience on how children learn. The daily plan was introduced and using both the indoor and outdoor space for learning. Positive behaviour management strategies were introduced. Developing language skills and the use of strategies including the OWL, (Observe, Wait, Listen), and the 3As (Allow, Adapt, and Add) were explored. The literacy wheel and encouraging communication among learners was also covered.

We were privileged to have the Municipal Directors of Education from the various districts present at the venues and encouraging participants to take the training seriously and to participate fully in all. They all affirmed the importance of this training, emphasising the need to implement what has been learned and stating that in order to sustain this programme, teachers will not be transferred for at least the next two years.

We were also thrilled to be joined by two teachers that we met at the 2020 Ghana Teacher Prize event in October, where we supported the National Best Pre-Primary Teacher award ceremony. Regina Tetteh, a kindergarten teacher who had completed earlier phases of our teacher training programme and Felicia Ahotoh a former head teacher, who voluntarily decided to become a kindergarten teacher, and who won the best kindergarten teacher award both agreed to come along and support the teachers at the training workshop.

Speaking with participants in the Akwapim North district, Regina shared that the strategy that made all the difference for her was that she continually reinforced positive behaviour management in her classroom. She said her classroom is now one of the best kindergarten classrooms in her district. She became the children’s friend, and they all came to speak to her about any issues they have and therefore they now listen to her more. This changed the entire situation in her classroom. Today, she is proud that she took the training seriously, and encouraged other teachers to do the same.

In the Okere District, Felicia shared experiences on her community work and zeal to support children to succeed both at school and at home. She encouraged teachers to take a keen interest in their learners and that her award was based on her community service and support for children over the years.

Here is some feedback from the participants of Intensive Training Workshop 1:

Faustina G. Dinku, Teacher, Akwakopong Methodist Basic
I have been teaching for quite some time now and have not received this form of training. Gone are the days when I was teaching in abstract, with the teacher always at the centre. But thank God for this programme, we have really been enlightened to place the child always at the centre of our teaching. My job in the classroom now is to provide the enabling environment and other opportunities for the children to learn on their own. This will help children develop confidence on their own… In fact, learning now is going to be very practical and enjoyable to them. I really love this programme and I pray that it continues to other parts of the country so all other teachers will have access to this form of training.

Samuel Akonor, Head Teacher, Anamenampa D/A Prim
… the training content is well researched and well packed which will go a long way to help the teachers and especially the learners to adapt to new ways of learning other than the previous style we were used to…. Teaching and learning is going to be quite interesting because we understand how children learn and the kind of environment to provide for their learning…Kindergarten education would be uplifted if this training is scaled up across the entire nation, and there would be easy progression from kindergarten to lower primary. I am really impressed with the good work that Sabre has started with us…

Vester Ofori-Amponsah, Teacher, Mampong RC Basic.
I have been in the teaching service for 9 years now. When the new curriculum was introduced, a workshop was organised for us but we couldn’t grasp the full concept of how to teach the children. This workshop has been beneficial to me as a teacher because, I have learnt that kindergarten teaching should be based on play where teaching shouldn’t be restricted to the classroom alone. Even though I knew of learning centres, this training has really opened it up for me. Things like creating centres, involving children and helping them to use all their senses as well as creating a friendly atmosphere have been quite interesting and how to manage the classroom as well. I have learnt about how to prepare the classroom and myself before the children come to school and I think I am going to improve a lot when schools reopen and I am going to implement all that… I am going to make sure my classroom is as friendly as possible and children will find something new every day when they come to school with an improved learner teacher relationship. In all, I think Sabre has helped us a lot.

This project is funded with UK aid from the British people and Echidna Giving.