Wednesday, December 17, 2014

IBIS Trains Teachers in Three Regions of Ghana

IBIS Ghana in collaboration with Edukans Foundation, a Netherland based non-governmental organization is training over 120 teacher trainers in some selected basic schools in 11 districts of Ghana on Active Teaching and Learning Methodologies.
The teacher trainers, who are being trained under the Basic Education Quality Improvement Programme (BEQUIP) of Ibis Ghana, will intend train their colleagues in over 40 schools in the 11 selected districts of the Northern, Upper East and Volta Regions of Ghana. 

Some Circuit Supervisors and Tutors from some selected Colleges of Education in the North were also given some training under the BEQUIP project to sharpen their skills. 

The beneficiary districts are; Tamale Metropolis, Sagnarigu, Savelugu, Bole, Sawla-Tuna-Kalba, East Gonja, Nkwanta North, Nkwanta South, Bolgatanga Municipality, Garu/Tempani and East Mamprusi. The justification for this programme is that current teaching and learning methods in most public basic schools in Ghana are teacher-centered with less active involvement of pupils.

As a result, a lot of children complete their basic education without having acquired the necessary competency in literacy, numeracy and life skills that will enable them to face their future with confidence.

However, the BEQUIP project according to the Project Facilitator of Ibis Ghana, Johnson Libe Naapi offers the best solution to the problem.

The project, which is based on the sharing-monitoring-improving methodology, he said, is a bottom-up approach where lessons are analyzed by the teachers themselves and improvements are conceived and practiced. 

Johnson Naapi, IBIS
Mr. Naapi noted that, every six months, teacher training experts from Netherland and Ghana go into the classrooms of the participating teachers to film (monitor) and analyze (share) the teaching and learning process. After the monitoring and sharing, training is given to the teachers to improve upon their teaching skills.

He said the teacher training programme seeks to contribute towards the improvement of pupils’ academic achievements through the introduction of learner-centered teaching and learning methodologies or active learning as understood within the BEQUIP terminology, with the use of Information Communication Technology. 

This Active Teaching and Learning Methods training for schools, which started in 2012 he indicated was expected to end in 2015. The project is the brainchild of one Mrs. Ries Sieswerda, a teacher trainer at the University of Amsterdam and financed by Edukans Foundation. It is being implemented in some other African countries including Madagascar, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Uganda and Ghana.

The Ibis Ghana Project Facilitator lauded the government of Ghana for the several education initiatives and interventions towards the promotion of quality education. He said in 2012, the Global Partnership for Education in Ghana (GPEG) Secretariat approved a 3-year grant of USD76.5 million for the Ministry of Education in Ghana to improve upon the quality of basic education in 57 deprived districts.

The grant’s disbursement guidelines he said were flexible for the districts to innovate and implement activities that would improve upon the general quality of teaching and learning in the basic schools. This includes enhancing the capacity of teachers in various subject areas, including ICT. The GPEG has started implementation at both district and individual school levels in 2013 and 2014. 

Mr. Naapi said that, the Government of Ghana also introduced a project known as “One child per one laptop computer” which offers every child in school the opportunity to learn through the use of ICT. 

He said that, through that project many teachers received training in ICT in several districts across the country. He observed that, if sustained, and with the introduction of the BEQUIP project, opportunities would be created for teachers and pupils to learn through the use of ICT.  

It will also be advantageous for the districts benefiting from the BEQUIP to use the GPEG funds to expand to more basic schools within their respective districts. This will be a great opportunity for up-scaling and sustaining the project beyond the implementing period, thus, increasing the possibility that the government will take over BEQUIP activities in the near future. IBIS is currently monitoring the GPEG disbursement process, and has started influencing some of the districts to prioritize and upscale the BEQUIP project.

Some of the teachers told Savannahnews that they have been able to train some other teachers in their communities and based on the knowledge acquired, they are now able to use ICT in teaching (PowerPoint) and doing research works and that teaching and learning in beneficiary schools had now become active learner oriented instead of teacher centered.

Madam Ries Sieswerda, the Lead Facilitator and Lecturer at the Amsterdam University and Frits Kruiswijk another facilitator encouraged the participants to sustain the BEQUIP project by organizing trainings for other teachers on active learning to improve on the quality of education in Ghana.

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