The College of Education Studies has held a workshop to sensitise lecturers on the National Teachers Standards (NTS) and the National Teacher Education Curriculum Framework (NTECF).
The workshop was aimed at equipping the lecturers to appreciate their role as stakeholders in the implementation of the NTS and NTECF. The National Teachers Standards is a policy document to guide teacher preparation and practice in the country whiles the National Teacher Curriculum Framework serves as a guide for curriculum development and focuses on the essential elements an initial teacher education curriculum should contain. The two which has been approved by Cabinet serve as working documents for teacher reforms in the country at the Pre-tertiary level.
New Bachelor of Education Programme
A former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Education and a consultant to the Ministry of Education, Prof. Jophus Anamuah-Mensah who spoke at the workshop said the two policy documents informed the development of the new Bachelor of Education programme for the Colleges of Education and Universities running education programmes.
Importance of the Workshop
Prof. Anamuah-Mensah said the workshop would help the lecturers to have a better understanding of the two documents in order to successfully inculcate them in their teaching and training of trainers as well as their students. “This workshop will provide the lecturers' information on the curriculum reforms, what has been done and how it came about. It is very important because they are going to write materials and help the Colleges of Education to develop these skills and knowledge they are going to implement,” he stressed. He also called on the five universities mentoring the Colleges of Education to provide Continuous Professional Development for Principals, tutors and other staff of the Colleges to effectively ensure the implementation of the new curriculum.
Explaining the uniqueness of the new Bachelor of Education Curriculum. Prof. Anamuah-Mensah indicated that “The new curriculum is more advanced than the previous three-year Diploma which is now being phased off”. He explained that the new curriculum focused on issues such as equity and inclusivity hence everybody was involved in the teaching.
Prof. Anamuah-Mensah further indicated that with the new curriculum, the content has been integrated with the pedagogy adding that “They are not separate entities; the content should be taught together with the methods of teaching”. Another innovation he mentioned was that the curriculum addressed cross-cutting issues that enabled the student to use core skills such as critical thinking, creativity and communication. Aside this, he said the students would have to option of pursuing specialised areas in the basic education structure rather than learning everything from primary one to the Junior High School. “Students can now concentrate and have an in-depth knowledge of the content area and the pedagogy that is required at that level.
Implication of NTS and NTECF
Speaking on the implication of the two policies, the Provost of the College of Education Studies, Prof. Ernest Kofi Davis, expressed the need for teacher education programmes to take into consideration the key elements in the two policy documents. He urged them to make conscious efforts to address the issues cardinal captured in the NTS and NTECF in their course outlines. “You have to ensure that assessment practices support the implementation of these new ways of looking at our world now,” he informed them.
UCC Curriculum Basic Education Programme
Prof. Davis noted that the UCC Basic Education programme curriculum for both the regular and distance modes as well as the Colleges of Education affiliated to the University reflect the standards and elements in the two policy documents. “The UCC curriculum has exposure to teaching in kindergarten and lower primary and the students are taken through all the pillars in the NTS and NTECF,” he explained.
The Chairman of the National Teaching Council, Prof. Eric Nyarko-Sampson, explained the processes involved in the conduct of the teachers’ licensure examination. He noted that teachers had six chances to write and pass the examinations for three years explaining that “Those who fail all these attempts will not be considered as professional teachers in the country”.
Types of Licences
Prof. Nyarko-Sampson said there were two types of licences thus the Provisional and Full Licenses. A teacher is awarded a Provisional Licence after passing the licensure whiles the Full License is given to teachers who have passed the licensure and have been taken through professional practice by their mentors, Circuit Supervisors and have taught for a minimum of two years,” he expounded.
Present at the workshop were Deans of Faculties and Schools, Heads of Department and lecturers in the College of Education.