Mr Anthony Maxwell Amoako, the new District Director of Education for Amansie West, has warned that he would sanction basic school heads who condoned lateness and absenteeism by their staff.
The move would help bring sanity into education in the District, which he said was seeing a decline, because of illegal mining activities (galamsey), which was a major cause of truancy and increase in school drop-outs.
Mr Amoako was outlining his vision to basic heads, teaching /non teaching staff and education stakeholders at a maiden meeting after he took over from Mr. Samuel Kena, who retired last month
The new director was the former senior housemaster for Konongo-Odumase Senior High School in the Asante-Akim Central Municipality.
He said teachers would be able to whip up the dwindling interest of children in education and attract them to school if they (teachers) showed seriousness in their work by being punctual and regular at school.
“You as teachers should be examples and role models in the communities in all spheres of life to earn the respect you deserve,” he added
Mr Amoako said his administration would not countenance indiscipline, absenteeism and other negative acts that could adversely affect teaching and learning in the district, and asked those who had the habit to change for the better.
He promised to liaise with the District Assembly to provide furniture and other logistics to aid them in their work.
Experts in education have called for an increase in the use of teaching and learning methods that are practical and centred on the learner in schools in Ghana.
According to them, the performance of students or pupils could improve significantly if teachers engaged them in learning activities that promoted interests and understanding in the subjects being taught.
Such learning activities, known as Active Learning methods, include role play, group work, creative writing, storytelling, simulation, experimentation and demonstration.
They made the call at a ceremony in Tamale organised to showcase the successes of the Basic Education Quality Improvement Programme (BEQUIP), a project under which a number of teachers, college tutors and other education officers were trained to improve their use of Active Learning methods.
Two international development organisations, IBIS and EDUKANS, and the University of Amsterdam collaborated with the Ghana Education Service (GES) and selected teacher training colleges to implement the project in parts of the Northern, Upper East and the Volta regions.
Mr Tirso Dos Santos, UNESCO's Head of Office and Representative to Ghana, Mr Ahmed Hamza Tijani, IBIS' Ghana Country Director, Mr Gershon Dorfe, Acting Deputy Director of the Teacher Education Division of the GES and Upper East Regional Director of Education were among the key speakers.
Mr Tijani said the BEQUIP project focused on increasing the use of Active Learning methods in schools in order to enhance students’ learning outcomes saying, "This is simply because research has proven that children learn better when they are engaged in practice, rather than just theory".
Mr Tijani underscored the need to replicate or upscale such interventions in Ghana, adding that "we are open to partner with other organisations on these interventions and we are positive that such partnerships would begin from here."
Mr Gerson Dorfe, announced that the Ghana Education Service (GES) would soon register and license teachers in the country, under a new policy known as Pre-tertiary Teacher Professional Development and Management (PTPDM) programme.
He said the new policy had a new career progression path starting from a Beginning Teacher to Licence Teacher down to Senior Director, which would eventually replace the existing ranking system in the Education Service.
He said the new policy is being piloted in three districts, namely, Shai Osudoku in the Grater Accra Region, Upper Manya in the Eastern Region and Ajumako Essiam Enyan District in the Central Region.
The principals of the Bagabaga College of Education in Tamale, St. John Bosco’s College of Education in Navrongo and Dambai College of Education in the Volta Region who were present, had said teacher trainees were trained on Active Learning methods, yet they failed to practice these methods after graduation.
They therefore called for greater emphasis on ensuring that teachers used learner-centred methods in the classrooms to improve education.
The International School of the University of Haifa in Israel is accepting applications for scholarship for a one year Master’s Program in Child Development for developing countries in its Faculty of Social Sciences Center.
Haifa University is considered to have the best Social Science departments amongst universities in Israel.
The program is meant for students from different disciplines related to work with children: early childhood education, psychology, social work, nursing, law, speech pathology, physical therapy and OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY with experience working with children and families.
The International Master’s Program in Child Development was established with the goal of improving the lives of children at risk in developing countries around the world by training and promoting professional leadership that will advance various agendas to achieve this objective.
Thus, the program trains and prepares professionals to become leaders in enhancing the well-being and welfare of children and their families. The program was primarily created by the center's as part of an Israeli action to support the UN Millennium Development Goals, as well as UNICEF's declarations regarding approaching all the children in need, regardless of where they live – none should be left behind.
Students from Ghana had the highest representation in the first cohort of the program which started in October 2014. The Israeli Ambassador to Ghana, Sharon Bar li said she was especially delighted to see such a great representation for Ghanaian students at the program as it strengthens the already existing MASHAV(Israeli Development Agency)-GES Early Childhood Education project, taking place in Kumasi, Accra and Tamale in recent .
Nana Esi Gaisie, one of Ghanaian students currently pursuing the course mentioned “I like the inter-disciplinary structure of the program which is in tandem with WHO's International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health… Studying and working together with different professionals… has made me understand better how our roles in society are inter-twined and this must not be glossed over in the interest of any child."
Issah Aduna, another Ghanaian student is of the opinion "the MA in child development is academically a unique with an interdisciplinary outlook, designed systematically to enrich students with empirical base evidence interventional knowledge and skills as tools for children at risk. It gives me a new look to see and answer the What Why and How about the child."
The next cohort which also offers full scholarship for students will start in October 2015. Application for the program is opened to persons with an accredited B.A. in relevant academic disciplines related to public services for children with at least three years of working experience. Applicants must register through the Haifa University International School - http:// intchilddev.haifa.ac.il/.
Candidates sitting for the 2015 West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE) in the Ashanti region have begun casting doubts over their performance with some planning to register for the private WASSCE as an alternative.
Most of the candidates are unhappy because their preparation towards the examination was inadequate due to the current erratic power supply.
A total of 268771 candidates are sitting for the 2015 WASSCE across Senior High Schools in the country.
The Ashanti region has the highest number with 62,472 candidates as against the Upper region which is the lowest with 7060 candidates sitting for the exams.
The examinations which will last for one month come at a time when the country is confronted with incessant erratic power supply now referred to as ‘Dumsor’.
A visit to schools such as the Kumasi Girls, Adventist, Asanteman and the Islamic Senior High Schools all in the Ashanti region revealed that most of the candidates were present and a few number of them absent.