Trainer Education and also Trainer Top quality
One of many sectors which fosters national development is education by ensuring the development of a functional human resource. The institution of strong educational structures leads to a culture populated by enlightened people, who will cause positive economic progress and social transformation. A Positive social transformation and its associated economic growth are achieved as the folks apply the skills they learned while these were in school. The acquisition of the skills is facilitated by one individual all of us ‘teacher’ ;.Because of this, nations seeking economic and social developments do not need to ignore teachers and their role in national development.
Teachers are the major factor that drives students’ achievements in learning. The performance of teachers generally determines, not merely, the caliber of education, but the general performance of the students they train. The teachers themselves therefore ought to obtain the best of education, for them to subsequently help train students in the best of ways. It is known, that the caliber of teachers and quality teaching are a few of the most crucial factors that shape the educational and social and academic growth of students. Quality training will ensure, to a sizable extent, teachers are of high quality, to be able to be able to properly manage classrooms and facilitate learning. That’s why teacher quality is still a matter of concern, even, in countries where students consistently obtain high scores in international exams, such as for example Trends in Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). In such countries, teacher education of prime importance due to the potential it needs to cause positive students’ achievements.
The structure of teacher education keeps changing in almost all countries in a reaction to the quest of producing teachers who understand the existing needs of students or simply the demand for teachers. The changes are attempts to make sure that quality teachers are produced and sometimes just to make sure that classrooms are not free from teachers. In the U.S.A, how to advertise good quality teachers has been a problem of contention and, for yesteryear decade roughly, has been motivated, basically, through the methods prescribed by the No Child Left Behind Act (Accomplished California Teachers, 2015). Even in Japan and other Eastern countries where there are many teachers than needed, and structures have already been instituted to make certain good quality teachers are produced and employed, issues associated with the teacher and teaching quality continue to be of concern (Ogawa, Fujii & Ikuo, 2013). Teacher education is therefore no joke anywhere. This information is in two parts. It first discusses Ghana’s teacher education system and in the next part discusses some determinants of quality teaching.
2.0 TEACHER EDUCATION
Ghana has been making deliberate attempts to make quality teachers on her behalf basic school classrooms. As Benneh (2006) indicated, Ghana’s aim of teacher education is to offer a complete teacher education program through the provision of initial teacher training and in-service training programs, that’ll produce competent teachers, who can help improve the potency of the teaching and learning that continues on in schools. The Initial teacher education program for Ghana’s basic school teachers was offered in Colleges of Education (CoE) only, until quite recently when, University of Education, University of Cape Coast, Central University College and other tertiary institutions joined in. The absolute most striking difference between the programs provided by one other tertiary institution is that whilst the Universities teach, examine and award certificates to their students, the Colleges of Education offer tuition whilst the University of Cape Coast, through the Institute of Education, examines and award certificates. The training programs provided by these institutions are attempts at providing many qualified teachers to instruct in the schools. The National Accreditation Board accredits teacher training programs in order to ensure quality.
The National Accreditation Board accredits teacher education programs based on the structure and content of the courses proposed by the institution. Hence, the courses run by various institutions differ in content and structure. For example, the course content for the Institute of Education, University of Cape Coast is slightly distinctive from the course structure and content of the Center for Continue Education, University of Cape Coast and none of both of these programs matches that of the CoEs, though all of them award Diploma in Basic Education (DBE) after four years of training. The DBE and the Four-year Untrained Teacher’s Diploma in Basic Education (UTDBE) programs run by the CoEs are only similar, however, not the same. The exact same can be said of the Two-year Post-Diploma in Basic Education, Four-year Bachelor’s degree programs run by the University of Cape Coast, the University of Education, Winneba and one other Universities and University Colleges. In effect even though, same products attract same clients, the preparation of the merchandise are done in different ways.
It is through these many programs that teachers are prepared for the basic schools – from nursery to senior high schools. Alternative pathways, or learn maths and english online programs whereby teachers are prepared are seen to be good in situations where there are shortages of teachers and more teachers should really be trained inside a very short time. An average example could be the UTDBE program, mentioned above, which design to equip non-professional teachers with professional skills. But this attempt to make more teachers, because of shortage of teachers, gets the tendency of comprising quality.
As noted by Xiaoxia, Heeju, Nicci and Stone (2010) the factors that subscribe to the problems of teacher education and teacher retention are varied and complex, but one factor that teacher educators are involved about is the choice pathways whereby teacher education occur. The prime aim of lots of the pathways would be to fast track teachers into the teaching profession. This short-changed the mandatory teacher preparation that prospective teachers need before becoming classroom teachers. Those who favor alternative routes, like Teach for America (TFA), according to Xiaoxia, Heeju, Nicci and Stone (2010) have defended their alternative pathways by saying that even although the students are engaged in a short-period of pre-service training, the students are academically brilliant and so have the capability to learn a great deal in a brief period. Others argue that in subjects like English, Science and mathematics where there are usually shortages of teachers, there should be a deliberate opening of alternative pathways to good candidates who’d done English, Mathematics and Science courses at the undergraduate level. None of the arguments meant for alternative pathways, hold for the choice teacher education programs in Ghana, where the academically brilliant students shun teaching as a result of reasons I shall come to.
Once the target is merely to fill vacant classrooms, issues of quality teacher preparation is relegated to the backdrop, somehow. Right at the selection stage, the choice pathways ease the requirement for gaining entry into teacher education programs. When, as an example, the next batch of UTDBE students were admitted, I will say confidently that entry requirements into the CoEs were not adhered to. What was emphasized was that, the applicant must certanly be a non-professional basic school teacher who has been engaged by the Ghana Education Service, and that the applicant holds a certificate above Basic Education Certificate Examination. The grades obtained did not matter. If this pathway hadn’t been created, the CoEs would not have trained students who initially did not qualify to enroll in the regular DBE program. However, it leaves in its trail the debilitating effect compromised quality.
Despite having regular DBE programs, I have realized, recently I must say, that CoEs in, particular, are not attracting the candidates with high grades. This as I have learnt now has a huge influence on both teacher quality and teacher effectiveness. Truth be told, teacher education programs in Ghana are not regarded as prestigious programs and so applicants with high grades do not choose education programs. And so many applicants who apply for teacher education programs have, relatively, lower grades. Once the entry requirement for CoEs’ DBE program for 2016/2017 academic year was published, I noticed the minimum entry grades have been dropped from C6 to D8 for West African Senior Secondary School Examination candidates.
This drop in standard could only be caused by CoEs’ attempt to attract more applicants. The universities too, lower their stop point for education programs whilst attract more candidates. The universities as alleged by Levine (2006) see their teacher education programs, so to say, as cash cows. Their need to generate income, force them to reduce admission standards, just like the CoEs did, in order to increase their enrollments. The truth that, admission standards are internationally lowered in order to achieve a goal of increasing numbers. This weak recruitment practice or lowering of standards introduce a serious challenge to teacher education.
The Japanese have already been able to produce teacher education and teaching prestigious and therefor attract students with high grades. One may argue that in Japan, the supply of teachers far exceeds the demand and so authorities are not under any pressure to hire teachers. Their system won’t suffer should they do all they can to pick higher grade student into teacher education programs. For them, the difficulties associated with the selection of teachers are far more important that the difficulties associated with recruitment. However, in western and African countries the difficulties associated with recruitment are prime. It is so as the demand for teachers far outweighs that of supply. Western and African countries have difficulties recruiting teachers because teachers and the teaching profession isn’t held in high esteem.
Teacher education programs therefore do not attract students who have very good grades. It is worth noting that, it is not the recruiting procedure only that determines if teacher education will soon be prestigious, however recruiting candidates with high grades, ensures that after training, teachers will exhibit the two characteristics necessary to effective teaching – quality and effectiveness. Teacher education can be effective if the teaching profession is held in high esteem and therefore able to attract the best of applicants. Otherwise, aside from incentives placed into place to attract applicants and aside from the measures that will be put in place to strengthen teacher education, teacher education programs cannot fully achieve its purpose.