“World Teachers’ Day commemorates the anniversary of the adoption of the 1966 ILO/UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers, which sets benchmarks regarding the rights and responsibilities of teachers and standards for their initial preparation and further education, recruitment, employment, and teaching and learning conditions.

With the adoption of Sustainable Development Goal 4 and the dedicated target recognising teachers as key to the achievement of the Education 2030 agenda, World Teachers’ Day has become the occasion to mark progress and reflect on ways to tackle challenges the teaching profession faces.” Source:  https://en.unesco.org/commemorations/worldteachersday

The theme for World Teachers’ Day 2020 is Teachers: leading in crisis, reimagining the future, as the world is facing a pandemic which is having huge implications for education.

In Ghana, kindergarten schools were closed on the 16th March 2020 as part of the country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Kindergarten schools won’t be re-opening until at least January 2021. Children are missing a lot of schooling during this time and parents in Ghana, as in other countries around the world, are adopting a new role as teachers. To support communities during COVID-19 we have worked closely with the Ghana Education Service offices across 12 districts to develop and deliver remote learning across the Central, Western and Eastern Regions of Ghana through the ‘Say, Sing, Shine’ radio programme. You can find out more about this programme in our latest COVID-19 response update.

A key factor for success in this radio programme has been the invaluable support we have had from teachers, head teachers and Ghana Education Service officers. Teachers have volunteered to support the programme in a number of ways. Firstly, supporting the creation of the radio content, secondly following up with parents through phone calls to see how they and their children are getting on and offering support or signposting to support services, lastly. but by no means least, has been the support given to children in their own communities to not only access the radio sessions but also to complete the activities suggested to them.

Hear from some of the awesome teachers and staff of the Ghana Education Service about how they have been supporting education during the crisis.

One of my worries has to do with some of the children who are really bright in school. I feel pained that these children would be home for this long and might become disengaged and would have forgotten what they learnt while in school. So children having the opportunity to learn and feel like being in the classroom again serves as a great motivation for me. … I felt that it is not only in the classroom environment the teacher can function but other innovative ways to help children. This radio programme came as a relief for me and so I felt it was my duty to dedicate much of my time to supporting the children in any way possible to take lessons through this radio programme seriously.  I feel as though I am with the children in the classroom especially when I meet them listening to the programme. Oforiwa Bempong, Teacher, Okere District, Eastern Region.

I was lost as to what I could do to support the children to learn. When I heard of the Say, Sing, Shine programme on radio, I realised I have some work to do. I have a radio at home with just one child with me. I moved around the neighbouring houses to ask permission from parents to allow their children to come around my radio set to listen to the programme so I can supervise them to listen. I usually have more than 30 children around, with some in lower primary who come around to listen to the programme. Sometimes, I ensure they sing along with the presenter especially when the story is repeated and support them to do the activities given to them. Some of the children I could not reach due to distance, I called their parents on the designated day so they could listen. Sometimes, I call their parents to speak with them. I feel this is the only way I can support them and I am very happy children in my area are not left behind because of school closures. Christiana Awartey, Teacher, Nsawam Adoagyiri Municipal.

The commitment of all circuit supervisors, head teachers and teachers to get their children to learn something before schools re-open has been so encouraging. About eight schools which were not initially part of the programme have started participating fully and are doing extremely well. Again, the support from the Municipal Education Office has been encouraging. The constant monitoring calls and visits from the Sabre Officers as well as the weekly token for our movements and calls also serve as a booster for the success of the programme. The kind of reception accorded the GES radio presenters by FAWE FM (the community radio station) cannot be under estimated. Even though some parents’ attitude towards the programme has not been encouraging, the commitment of the teachers has kept the programme going to the benefit of our learners in the district. Kwadwo Boahen, Deputy Director for Supervision, Nsawam Adoagyiri Municipal Education Directorate.

My main plan during COVID-19 is how can I engage my learners whilst at home. I even had planned to gather the learners in batches, having the protocols in place, but thought  it will be difficult for me to handle the learners alone. Then Sabre Education came in with radio lessons which is more engaging to learners in the house, so I took that opportunity to be prompting my learners’ parents to be tuning in for the learners to learn.  Now Sabre Education has given me opportunity to be on the radio during the parental sessions to educate parents on how they can help children learn whilst at home. I wish all my colleague teachers will take this seriously to help their learners while in the house. Juliana Lomotey, Teacher, Effia Kwesimintsim Municipal Assembly, Western Region.

I knew that I hadn’t finished what I’m supposed to teach the learners in the classroom before the school closures. So when I heard about Sabre Education’s intervention during COVID-19, I took the initiative to pay for my community public address system to be used every week to broadcast the lessons widely in the community. This, I’m proud to do as a teacher. Thanks for rolling out the intervention in many districts and regions to help learners at home. Yvonne Dawson- Teacher, Komenda Edina Eguafo Abirim Municipal, Central Region.