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.