The Ghana Education Service’s (GES) Supported Teaching in Schools (STS) initiative is enhancing the training of student teachers for effective teaching practices and better learning outcomes.

The GES, after rolling out a new teacher education curriculum, has embedded the STS throughout the Bachelor in Education Programme in all public Colleges of Education to offer student teachers more teaching experience to build their competence and confidence.

The Service has also spelt out some policies to ensure teacher training institutions churned out well qualified teachers.

A National School Partnership Policy (NSPP) has also been introduced to build working relationships between partner basic schools, communities and colleges of education with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), defining the roles of the various stakeholders.

The new drive is being supported by the Transforming Teacher Education and Learning programme (T-TEL), a six year programme initiated by the Government of Ghana with funding support from UKaid, which seeks to ensure that the GES met its goals of reforming teacher education.

Mr Franklin Bissi, Supported Teaching Coordinator at the Peki College of Education, during a media tour of the project’s implementation, said STS helped teachers apply theory to practice, and provided a solid foundation, which resulted in better delivery on the teaching field.

He said STS ensured that students were well prepared and systematically introduced to the teaching programme.

Mr Bissi said what used to be a post observation conference with student teachers after holiday attachments had now become “pure” observation in the first semester, after which students were attached to link tutors.

He said the training of teaching practice mentors, tutors, and circuit supervisors had also been formalised into a “well-coordinated” and regular programme.

Occasional monitoring of student teachers on the field had now been frequented by link tutors who provide direct coaching to students on teaching practice.

Briefing and debriefing sessions has also been entrenched into the monitoring process with student teachers assessed during observations.

Mr Bissi said the confidence level of student teachers had increased as a result, with the monitoring of teaching practice being more efficient.

He said the active participation of the community in the welfare of student teachers aided better integration of the latter into the basic school system.

“The dictates of the new curriculum is taking a different dimension, and the STS is helping produce reflective, competitive, improved, and better prepared graduate teachers who would inspire learners in the classroom for better learning outcomes,” he stated.

The Coordinator said the support of partner communities remained crucial, and must continue to provide accommodation and security for student teachers.

He also appealed to student teachers to develop professional values and attitudes, saying “students stimulate behaviour of teachers, and the latter must therefore possess the right attitudes to be able to deliver”.

John Abudzo, a student teacher at the College who was on an off campus teaching practice at the Avetile RC Primary School, told the media the STS was equipping him with skills and knowledge needed to improve his teaching.

Mr Seyram Kafui Akudey, Assembly Member for Avetile Central Electoral Area, said his role as captured in the MOU was to secure the welfare of student teachers and make them known to the community, and called on all to support the new drive.

“We need all hands on deck to deliver this new teaching approach,” he said.

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