– National Stakeholder Engagement begins
The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA) and the National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE) through the support of the Transforming Teacher Education and Learning (T-TEL) programme, are leading comprehensive curricula reforms for the Pre-tertiary and Initial Teacher Education sectors respectively. This forms part of the ongoing reforms of the Ministry of Education to make education more responsive to the human resource and development needs of Ghana.
The new pre-tertiary curriculum holds the key to effectively address our changing national priorities by equipping learners with the skills, competencies and awareness that would make them functional and responsible citizens who can contribute to the attainment of our national development goals.
A revised curriculum for Initial Teacher Education will provide our nation with highly qualified and motivated teachers who are able to inspire their pupils to achieve better outcomes in basic education.
As part of the implementation process NaCCA and NCTE with T-TEL’s support are undertaking joint stakeholder consultations across the country to identify what matters most to stakeholders and to take active measures to address their input. The first in a series of engagements will take place in the Northern sector on Tuesday 10th April, 2018 at the Tamale College of Education.
The ongoing review of the basic education curriculum, a recommendation by the Prof Osei Kwarteng’s Ministerial Advisory Committee of 2017 and approved by cabinet, is a manifestation of the commitment of the government of Ghana for a robust and responsive educational system. In line with national priorities, benchmarks that will guide the reform of the basic education curriculum include:
• A shift in the structure and content of our education system from merely passing examinations to building character, nurturing values, and raising literate, confident, and engaged citizens who can think critically.
• Emphasis on the acquisition of 4Rs: Reading, wRiting, aRithmetic and cReativity as foundational skills.
• Reintroduction of History of Ghana as a subject in the school system.
• Popularisation of the learning of French language in schools
• Introduction of Arabic as an optional language to be taught and examined at the JHS and SHS levels
The ITE reform is driven by the Policy on Teacher Education Reform (PTER) which as approved by cabinet endorsed the two key policy documents – the National Teachers’ Standards (NTS) and the National Teacher Education Curriculum Framework (NTECF). The NTS provides the determiner of what a good teacher is and against which all new teachers will have to be assessed for certification and licensing while the NTECF provides the Framework against which all Teacher Education Curricula for preparing teachers for the pre-tertiary sector can be reviewed and revised.
Cabinet through the PTER further approved the conversion of Colleges of Education into University Colleges of Education affiliated to public universities offering education curricular and the eventual design of a four-year Bachelor of Education curriculum for initial teacher education to be offered at the University Colleges of Education. Consequently, the new teacher education model is expected to among other things;
• Raise the status of practical teaching experience through supported and assessed teaching in school
• Focus on assessment of trainees against the Teachers’ Standards through professional portfolios including evidence from: in-school learning; assignments and examination results
• Move from generalist to level specific specialism for K-P3, primary, JHS for teachers in the current basic school system.
• Emphasize a more interactive, learner focused approach to training.
• Be explicit in addressing critical cross cutting issues: equity and inclusivity, assessment, core skills, professional values, action research and reflection.
It is expected that these reforms will ultimately contribute to the improvement of learning outcomes in line with the goals of the Education Sector Plan (ESP) and the Sustainable Development Goal four (SDG 4).