The Centre for Child Development Research and Referral (CCDRR) has organised a training workshop for teachers of Saint Mary’s Girls School in Cape Coast.
The training workshop was held to equip the teachers to identify and assist pupils with reading and other learning challenges in the classroom. It was on the theme “The Role of the Teacher in Identifying Reading and Other Learning Problems in the Regular Classroom.”
Inclusive Education for All
Opening the workshop, the Coordinator of CCDRR, Dr. Lebbaeus Asamani, indicated that the workshop was to expose the teachers to issues in “inclusive education” and the need to ensure the availability of competent teachers who can provide quality education to all children whether with or without disability as enshrined in the 1992 constitution of Ghana. He noted that the Inclusive Education Policy Document which was produced in 2015, placed emphasis on ensuring access and learning for all children without discrimination. Dr. Asamani said the core function of CCDRR were: educational assessment and intervention; workshops and training of teachers; doing referrals when necessary and conducting research related to child development; and learning difficulties and disorders.
Planned Workshops for Teachers and Other Stakeholders
The Coordinator of CCDRR indicated that, the workshop was the first in a series which had been planned to equip teachers with the needed skills for contemporary inclusive classroom. He said there would be subsequent workshops involving other stakeholders and informed the teachers that, the Centre would do follow-up on the progress of the pupils. “I am hopeful the training workshop will leave the participants very resourced and refreshed to help provide good quality education for their pupils,” he remarked.
Topics for the Workshop
Highlighting some of the problems of learning to the teachers, a Teaching Associate, Ms. Martha-Pearl Okai, who was the resource person for the training workshop took participants through “Dyslexia – difficulty with reading; Dyscalculia - difficulty with mathematic calculation; Dysgraphia - difficulty with writing; Apraxia – difficulty with motor coordination; Social-Emotional problems; Written Expressing problems; Oral Language problems and Spelling problems” She advised teachers that, the best way to deal with any of these learning problems or difficulties in pupils/students was to be able to identify them.
Early Identification of Learning Problems
Ms. Okai stressed on the need for early identification of learning problems and urged the teachers to actively play their counselling role in the classrooms through the use of procedures - report, pre-referrals, referrals and post referrals. She entreated them to engage pupils in a natural environment; listening carefully and respectfully; being culturally sensitive and developing a good relationship with parents. “Avoid making diagnosis; raising concerns and making judgment,” she implored. She called on the teachers to report all forms of teaching and learning problems to CCDRR for redress.
The resource person engaged participants through sketches, group work, discussions, questioning and answering sessions.