The second intensive training workshop has been delivered to teachers and head teacher from 40 schools across six districts in the Eastern Region of Ghana. Also attending the training workshop were Ghana Education Service officers from the six districts . In December 2019 two of the districts we are working with in the Eastern Region were administratively separated so we are now working with six district assemblies although the number of schools and geographical area has not changed. We were delighted to see an improvement on last terms training with participants arriving nice and early at the various training venues. 

The three day training workshop was delivered concurrently across four venues and focused on:  

  1. Literacy and mathematics suitable for kindergarten learners. 

Participants learnt strategies they can use to develop the oral language, build the vocabulary and confidence of learners using techniques such as ‘Show and Tell’, where children bring items from home or pick items from the classroom and briefly describe it with teachers facilitating.

Teachers explored the use of ‘number talk’ to facilitate childrens’ understanding of numerical concepts.

To help learners prepare for reading and writing, participants were introduced to the use of auditory discrimination, which is a key part of the KG1 phonics curriculum, in order to prepare children to begin blending sounds together and reading simple words in KG2. 

Auditory discrimination is the ability to tell the difference between different sounds. Teaching children to be able to hear individual sounds in words is a key skill to achieve before they start learning how to read. Auditory discrimination is taught to children in KG1 through the use of a variety of fun and interactive games, for example ‘I spy with my little eye something beginning with…’ which helps to get children thinking about the sounds at the start of words. 

  1. Kindergarten appropriate assessment 

Participants were introduced to assessment, particularly how teachers could observe their learners in developing psycho-social, mathematics, pre-reading and pre-writing skills. Participants were also taught how to assess their learners using portfolios, each child has a folder where teachers gather key pieces of work the children produce over the term. Portfolios also provide an opportunity when parents visit for them to see the progress their children have made over the term.  

Madam Mavis Yirenkyi, the Education Director for New Juabeng South encouraged participants in her district to be really focused on taking the workshop seriously for effective implementation  because it is a Ghana Education Service approved workshop. 

On monitoring and supervision, Hayford Awuah the Director of Education for Nsawam Adoagyiri added that, he and his officers would be visiting classrooms to identify areas that teachers may need further support in. He pressed upon the head of supervision to ensure that no fault-finding visits are carried out in the classrooms but rather visits that will bring the good out of all the teachers.

It was great to see such enthusiasm and commitment from teachers, head teachers and Ghana Education Service staff across the districts. See the quotes below to find our how some of the workshop participants felt;  

Roseca Abankwa Korantemaa, Mangoase M/A Basic School, Akuapem North.

As a newly trained teacher, if I compare what we were taught in school, I think this programme is good for the children because now I know that facilitators (teachers) would have to make the learning activity base for the learners to enjoy the lessons. I also learnt that words for learners should be very simple and not complex and the facilitator should be taking steps to ensure children are paying attention for good understanding. It’s a great lesson for me as a newly trained teacher.

Claudia Tekpetey, Mampong Presby Basic A, Akuapem North.

I think this new way of teaching will enhance the children’s performance because, as compared to the previous ways of teaching, we now use a lot of teaching and learning resources and the  pupils are more involved during the classroom activities. I am actually happy with the literacy aspect because we have new ways to enhance children’s listening and speaking skills as well as their reading and writing skills.

Mabel Adarkwa, Mah-deen Islamic Basic, New Juabeng

Sabre’s support last term has really boosted my confidence in teaching kindergarten children, especially the play-based approach. My children really learned and enjoyed all the sessions, they are quick to remind me to tell them stories. Having received the second intensive training, my difficulties in teaching maths to kindergarten children has been resolved. I am now going to teach maths with ease and I know the children will easily grasp the concept. I wish such trainings to come as often as possible for continual support for our teaching and learning.

Wilhelmina Armah, Nana Oware Agyapong Basic, New Juabeng

Previously, we were having challenges with making teaching and learning resources and how to even go about teaching and learning. But the training has really built our capacities in preparing such resources for teaching and learning. I am also excited because now my children are able to identify their names because of the self-registration cards and even help us the teachers to know immediately which of the children are not present. I am also happy that now absenteeism has drastically reduced because of the interesting activities children engage in all day.

Rose Agyepong, Headteacher, Presbyterian Women’s College of Education demonstration school.

Generally, I think this method of teaching is very good. It has helped the teachers to understand the new curriculum because teachers know what to do at any particular time. The programme is activity based, so as children are playing they are learning lots of things. After closing you hear them mention some of the things that they did during the day. Now if parents come to the classrooms, they are very happy. A parent was amazed when she brought her ward to class the other day when she saw the sudden transformation in the classroom. 

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