During the first five years of a child’s life, quality education, play and stimulation are crucial for development, this is when 90% of brain development takes place. (Theirworld, 2021).
Whilst 85% of teachers in Ghana now receive some formal teacher training, the vast majority have received no training in how to effectively deliver the play-based kindergarten curriculum advocated by the Government of Ghana (EMIS 2018/2019).
Walking into a traditional classroom in Ghana you could expect to see bare walls that have remained unpainted since the school was first built 40+ years ago. An overcrowded classroom, with up to 50 children, sitting row upon row behind rickety desks. Children as young as three forced to sit still and listen to the teacher recite the alphabet at the front of the class. No books, no paper, no pencils. Just wooden canes, for the teacher to keep the young children in line.
Play-based learning is different, gone is the expectation that children should sit still and learn through memorisation, instead, kindergarten classrooms are adorned with paintings, there are pretend shops, building blocks and picture books. There are no canes, and no reciting from the blackboard. Instead children learn through songs, stories, and laughter.
Sabre Education’s teacher training is helping to totally transform the kindergarten education that young Ghanaians receive. Since 2019, we have been busy delivering our largest project to date in the Eastern Region of Ghana. Our Transformational Teacher Training project is working in every government kindergarten school across six districts, 274 schools in total, supporting teachers to implement play-based learning in their classrooms.
Whilst the project hit some challenges last year as schools closed as a result of COVID-19, we adapted by delivering some of our teacher training online. We are really pleased to report that since August 2019 the Transformational Teacher Training project has provided training to 1,454 teachers, head teachers and Ghana Education Service officers, improving the education of 15,758 children across the Eastern Region.
And there is more to come! Once we have completed the training for all of the existing teachers in the Eastern Region we will move onto working with colleges of education to ensure that student teachers are also trained in play-based teaching. Additionally, the project will also provide a model for in-service and student teacher training which we hope to roll out across Ghana.
We look forward to keeping you up to date on this exciting project, and if you would like to support our teacher training work please click here.
This project is funded with UK aid from the British people and Echidna Giving.