1 ) 0 INTRODUCTION
One of the sectors which fosters national development is schooling by ensuring the development of a functional human being resource. The institution of strong educational structures leads to a modern society populated by enlightened people, who can cause positive economic progress and social transformation. A Positive social alteration and its associated economic growth are usually achieved as the people apply the abilities they learned while they were in school. The acquisition of these skills will be facilitated by one individual we all ‘teacher’. For this reason, nations seeking economic and social developments need not ignore instructors and their role in nationwide development.
Teachers are the major aspect that drives students’ achievements in mastering. The performance of teachers usually determines, not only, the quality of education, however the general performance of the students they will train. The teachers themselves for that reason ought to get the best of education, so they can consequently help train students in the best of ways. It is known, that the quality of teachers and quality teaching are some of the most important factors that form the learning and social and educational growth of students. Quality instruction will ensure, to a large extent, teachers are of very high quality, so as to have the ability to properly manage classrooms and assist in learning. That is why teacher quality is still a matter of concern, even, in countries where students consistently obtain higher scores in international exams, such as Trends in Mathematics and Technology Study (TIMSS). In such countries, instructor education of prime importance due to the potential it has to cause beneficial students’ achievements.
The structure of teacher education keeps changing within almost all countries in response to the quest of producing teachers who understand the current needs of students or just the demand for teachers. The changes are attempts to ensure that high quality teachers are produced and occasionally just to ensure that classrooms are not free from teachers. In the U. S. The, how to promote high quality teachers continues to be an issue of contention and, within the past decade or so, has been motivated, fundamentally, through the methods prescribed by the No Child Left Behind Act (Accomplished California Teachers, 2015). Even in Japan as well as other Eastern countries where there are more teachers than needed, and structures are already instituted to ensure high quality teachers are usually produced and employed, issues associated with the teacher and teaching quality are still of concern (Ogawa, Fujii and Ikuo, 2013). Teacher education is therefore no joke anywhere. This article is in two parts. It first discusses Ghana’s teacher education system and in the second part looks at some determinants of quality teaching.
2 . 0 TEACHER EDUCATION
Ghana has been making deliberate attempts to produce quality teachers for her basic school classrooms. Because Benneh (2006) indicated, Ghana’s purpose of teacher education is to provide a complete teacher education program through the supply of initial teacher training and in-service training programs, that will create competent teachers, who will help improve the effectiveness of the teaching and learning that goes on in schools. The Initial teacher education program for Ghana’s fundamental school teachers was offered in Colleges of Education (CoE) only, until very recently when, University of Education and learning, University of Cape Coast, Main University College and other tertiary institutions joined in. The most striking difference between the programs offered by the other tertiary institution is that while the Universities teach, examine and award certificates for their students, the Colleges of Schooling offer tuition while the University associated with Cape Coast, through the Institute of Education, examines and award certificates. The training programs offered by these establishments are attempts at providing a lot of qualified teachers to teach in the academic institutions. The National Accreditation Board accredits teacher training programs in order to ensure quality.
The National Accreditation Table accredits teacher education programs in line with the structure and content of the programs proposed by the institution. Hence, the particular courses run by various organizations differ in content and framework. For example , the course content for your Institute of Education, University of Cape Coast is slightly distinctive from the course structure and articles of the Center for Continue Training, University of Cape Coast plus none of these two programs matches that of the CoEs, though they all honor Diploma in Basic Education (DBE) after three years of training.
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The particular DBE and the Four-year Untrained Teacher’s Diploma in Basic Education (UTDBE) programs run by the CoEs are only similar, but not the same. The same could be said of the Two-year Post-Diploma within Basic Education, Four-year Bachelor’s diploma programs run by the University of Cape Coast, the University of Education, Winneba and the other Colleges and University Colleges. In effect despite the fact that, same products attract same customers, the preparation of the products are usually done in different ways.
It is through these many programs that teachers are ready for the basic schools – from nursery to senior high universities. Alternative pathways, or programs by which teachers are prepared are seen to be good in situations where there are disadvantages of teachers and more teachers ought to be trained within a very short time. An average example is the UTDBE program, mentioned above, which design to equip non-professional teachers with professional skills. Yet this attempt to produce more instructors, because of shortage of teachers, has got the tendency of comprising quality.
Since noted by Xiaoxia, Heeju, Nicci and Stone (2010) the factors that contribute to the problems of instructor education and teacher retention are varied and complex, but a single factor that teacher educators are concerned about is the alternative pathways by which teacher education occur. The prime aim of many of the pathways is to fast track educators into the teaching profession. This short-changed the necessary teacher preparation that prospective teachers need before becoming class teachers. Those who favor alternative paths, like Teach for America (TFA), according to Xiaoxia, Heeju, Nicci and Stone (2010) have defended their particular alternative pathways by saying that however the students are engaged in a short-period of pre-service training, the students are academically brilliant and so possess the capacity to learn a lot in a short period. Others argue that in subjects such as English, Science and mathematics high are usually shortages of teachers, there must be a deliberate opening up of substitute pathways to good candidates who also had done English, Mathematics plus Science courses at the undergraduate degree. None of these arguments in support of substitute pathways, hold for the alternative teacher education programs in Ghana, where the academically brilliant students shun teaching due to reasons I shall arrive at.