From February 27th to March 3rd 2023, Sabre Education, Right To Play, and Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) conducted a five-day training for national trainers on the national kindergarten (KG) In-Service Education and Training (INSET) manual.
The training programme took place in Accra and was attended by the National Director for Early Childhood Education at the Ghana Education Service (GES), Barbara Ntow, alongside key officers from Right To Play, IPA and Sabre Education.
The aim of the 2023 training was to deliver new content to national trainers, whilst refreshing and updating the initial content that the trainers received in November 2021. The training content was developed in partnership with the GES, in order to equip national trainers with the knowledge and skills to deliver INSET content to KG teachers across different districts in Ghana.
Areas covered included: classroom behaviour management, teachers’ role in play-based learning, understanding and delivering the Standards-Based KG curriculum, and creating teaching and learning resources.
The February 2023 training introduced a specific focus on strategies to develop early literacy and numeracy skills. These included the concept of ‘Number Talk’, in which learners are asked to solve mathematical problems in multiple ways and share their thinking orally.
The training also gave the national trainers a course in strategies for engaging and building positive relationships with parents and communities. Another key element covered was inclusive education, with the aim of developing strategies to support the learning of children with specific educational needs.
National trainers were taught the concept of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), which is a teaching method used to accommodate the needs and abilities of all learners and eliminate unnecessary hurdles in the learning process.
In November 2021, Sabre, Right To Play and IPA came together to create and test a unified national teacher kindergarten training programme that could be scaled across Ghana. In preparation for this roll-out, Sabre and Right To Play trained 73 national trainers from across the country to use the new unified national teacher training content.
The areas covered in the 2021 training included understanding child development and how young children learn, as well as creating a positive learning environment in the classroom.
Sabre, Right To Play and IPA co-designed and tested the national INSET content used to train teachers in play-based learning. Together, the three organisations have harmonised the content with other early childhood education (ECE) NGOs, and created a pool of resources used to help roll out the training nationwide.
Right To Play has used the national trainers to cascade the training, with Sabre providing additional technical support and IPA focussing on monitoring and evaluation.
The national group of trainers is made up of a diverse group of people, including GES staff such as practising KG classroom teachers, education officers, training officers, regional and district training officers, regional and district ECE coordinators, and School Improvement Support Officers (SISOs).
The collaboration between Sabre, IPA, and Right To Play is critical to help address the systemic issues impacting early years education in Ghana. The three organisations are working with the government to progress their shared mission to provide all 4 and 5-year-old children in Ghana with a quality play-based kindergarten education.