In order to enable students of the Faculty of Education gain greater competence, confidence and experience in the art of teaching and thereby strengthen their professional practice as teachers, the Faculty of Education has decided to set aside the first semester of the final year of all programmes in the Faculty for teaching practice by final year students. It is in response to this decision of the Faculty of Education that the Department of Science and Mathematics Education is reviewing its Bachelor of Education (Health Science) programme. This is to ensure students cover enough the essential aspects of the science education programme within seven semesters of course work and also have enough practice teaching which is an essential aspect of the programme.
Nations which progress from developing to developed countries have high quality supporting health care system. This essentially has been through the high quality personnel in their health delivery system. It is against this background that in 1989 the Department of Science and Mathematics Education was given the mandate to train health professional for the Health Training Institutions (HTIs) in the country. This was aimed at producing quality health tutors in our HTIs who would in turn increase both quality and quantity of the labour force in the health delivery system of the nation. Since its establishment therefore, the Health Sciences Education Unit has trained personnel for the Ministry of Health, 37 Military Hospital, Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and World Vision International.
Currently, the Health Sciences Education Programme (HSEP) in the University of Cape Coast (UCC) is a two-stage programme with interval field service period requested by the stake holders. During the first stage, health professionals are taken through technical and professional education for two academic years leading to the awarding of a diploma in Health Sciences Education. The graduates provide services at the HTIs, District Health Administrations and in-service education in the society.
The second stage of the programme which is a three-semester sandwich programme prepares the candidates for the award of Post-Diploma Bachelor of Education (Health Sciences) degree. These two programmes therefore, imply that a candidate spends five years to acquire the bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences Education, with an intervening two years post-diploma service in the HTIs.
At a joint meeting of the Department of Science and Mathematics Education and stake holders of the HSEP, it was agreed that in future, a direct three-year programme will be developed to reduce the current two-stage (five-year) programme by two years. This new programme admits entrants with diploma from their relevant professional areas. Additionally, the new programme shall also avoid the service period required by the stakeholders.
The Ministry of Health has opened more Health Training Institutions in order to train more health workers for the health sector. Qualified tutors are therefore needed in the colleges. This programme can therefore, meet the plan of the Ministry of Health to improve the staffing situation in the 67 HTIs.
The goal of this programme is to train more qualified tutors for the 67 Health Training Institutions in Ghana. Also, the products from the HSEP, who go through the relevant content and teaching strategies in health sciences, would be able to promote quality teaching and learning in the Health Training Institutions in Ghana and elsewhere.
The specific objectives are that at the end of the 3-year programme graduates of the programme will be able to:
i. teach in pre-service Health Training Institutions;
ii. assist in the administration of the HTIs;
iii. help pre-service health personnel acquire the necessary skills;
iv. prepare the pre-service health personnel to render effective and efficient health care in their relevant fields of practice;
v. improve on the quality of instruction in health sciences in pre-service Health Training Institutions.