Hon Jerry Akporhor Founder and Lead Educator of Informed Teachers Network ( ITN) writes……
Dear Ghana Education service,
Every professional development/point building workshop/training organized for teachers should come with assessment.
Teachers must demonstrate enough proficiency in whatevever content or concept they receive training in before issuance of points and certificates.
Reasons with practical illustrations;
Just recently, I attended a training workshop organized by my District Education Office on Teachers Licensing which we all paid 50gh Cedis. Some colleagues paid the money alright but didn’t attend the workshop. Some paid, came to sign attendance and left. Some stayed until they took their snack and left. Others were there in body but absent in mind.
To some, paying the money and being there to sign attendance is all they have to do in order to get the Continouse Professional Development (CPD) points and certificate. This is a serious flaw. So I suggest, to get these teachers to be interested in the contents, rigorous assessment must be made an integral part of every CPD workshop.
Virtual/ online workshop loophole
I have the privilege to participate online lessons last year during the heat of Corona. We start lectures 7am and end 8pm five days in a week. One and half hour break every day. It was a marathon.
There was this time I logged in to to take part in a lecture and I felt sleepy due to fatigue. While still logged in, I was snoring away away into the dreamland. I woke up only to realize the lecture has ended but I was marked present. The online system was not programed to monitor what I was doing.
Another time, I was riding on motorbike to my hometown to attend to something else. I could hardly hear what the lecturer was saying but at the end of the lecture, I was marked present. My microphone was off and my video too. There’s no way anybody can tell if i was doing something else and not concentrating.
But I did something latter to recover the periods I missed. I latter got the slides of the presentation and comb through at my own time. Do you know why? The day of accountability is coming. End of semester assessment is fast approaching. On a normal day, I would have ignored those vital lessons and moved.
1. Not every teacher has accepted the point building and teacher Licensing policy yet and such attitudes are expected. There are various reasons for the non-acceptance which includes lack of insight, politics assurances and fear of the unknown. Whatever the reasons are, must be guarded against until the policy fully gain grounds.
2. Not every teacher is interested in professional development. We are individually different. Some colleagues are change averse. They are comfortable where they are and how they are. I mean no disrespect but it’s an undeniable fact.
Last year, a colleague was due for promotion to the next rank after serving four good years. Part of the requirement is to complete and Appraisal Form. He reached the section where he is supposed to enter the number of in-service trainings he received in the past four years. He has absolutely nothing to write there because he has not attended any.
This is one of the reasons why I am particularly interested in the point building for License renewal.
3. Introducing assessment as part of CPD workshops won’t solve all the problems that may come with this CPD policy but can help seal some loopholes.
4. Also, demonstrating enough proficiency in assessment during of after the workshop too doesn’t mean that it will reflect in teachers output in the classroom but it is one of th steps in ensuring that teachers are entering the classroom with the requisite knowledge, skills and attitudes.
I know a lot of my colleagues will not agree with me, some will see it as disgracing the profession and my dear colleagues but this is a personal opinion which I think is in th interest of the Education fraternity.
I believes that, pursuit of human development is central to education sector reform agenda to making Ghana Education one of the best in the world.
And that, the quality of human resources in every organization is paramount for high performance and sustainability, and as such, Ghana Education Service takes no exception.
Therefore, teachers who are the drivers of educational policies have to always broaden their horizon and be constantly updated on contemporary pedagogical strategies, administrative procedures as well as rules and l regulations of the teaching Profession in order to remain relevant in an ever changing world.
And to adequately align themselves to meet the needs of 21st century Ghanaian child for the realization of the Socio-economic Transformation Agenda and Sustainable Development Goal.
Hon Jerry Akporhor _ Founder and Lead Educator of Informed Teachers Network.