Centre for International Education (CIE)

Ghana

“Cost of training teachers has increased despite the fact that the current allowances paid for supervision during the “out” year is wholly inadequate”
Abdulai, 2007, p34

Main features of teacher education

Teacher education in Ghana has passed through many stages, resulting in various categories of teachers in the system, who possess different professional qualifications – certificate, diploma and degree. Currently, the training of teachers is located in the colleges of education (formerly teacher training colleges) and two universities. The colleges of education train teachers for the Basic School (Preschool – Year 9) level, while the universities prepare teachers for all levels, though many of their products prefer to teach in post-basic institutions.

The requirements for entering a college of education have shifted from Middle School Leaving Certificate to Senior High School Certificate. Minimum entry requirement for the teacher education universities has been a Senior Secondary Certificate from the beginning. Currently, the colleges of education have aggregate 24 in six subjects, while the universities have aggregate 20 as the minimum entry requirement. At both levels, teaching experience is not a mandatory requirement.

The duration for teacher training in the colleges of education is three years; in the universities, the duration ranges from two sandwich semesters for candidates with university degree in their subject areas, to four years for entrants with only secondary education. The emphasis of training is on both content and methodology for candidates with only secondary education, but tilted towards methodology for entrants with appropriate qualifications in their subject (content) areas.

Challenges and opportunities

One major challenge has been the inability to attract high-calibre candidates to teacher training and also retain those who train to teach. Imbalance in the ratio of male to female teachers has persisted; in the 2007/2008 academic year, males represented 57% of candidates admitted into the colleges of education. Also, with the new tertiary status of the colleges of education comes the challenge of upgrading the qualifications and updating the competencies of the tutors to meet the requirements for tertiary teaching, as well as expanding and improving the infrastructural and instructional facilities of the colleges.

But with the introduction of distance education, sandwich programmes, and the Untrained Teachers Diploma in Basic Education (UTDBE) programme, there are expanded opportunities for both the initial training and later upgrading of teachers. The new Education Bill (2008) provides for new teacher induction and registration, among others. These provisions, if effectively implemented, are likely to improve the competence of teachers and raise the image of teaching as a profession.

Research team

Lead Researcher:

Researchers:

  • Dr Cosmas Cobbold
  • Dr Charles Duedu
  • Dr Dominic Mensah
  • Mr Chris Kwaah

Reports and Papers

  • Aboagye, J.K. (2008). Teacher Education in Ghana: Challenges and Prospects. In PRINCOF. Developments in Basic Teacher Education in Ghana (pp. 141-154). Kumasi: Greenland’s Concept.
  • Anamuah-Mensah, J. (2008). Teacher Education in the Context of Ghana’s 2007 Education Reforms. In PRINCOF. Developments in Basic Teacher Education in Ghana (pp. 120-132). Kumasi: Greenland’s Concept
  • Cobbold, C. (2009). Improving the Practical Aspect of Pre-Service Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa: Issues of Conceptualization, Planning and Management. In F.K. Amedahe (Ed.). Teacher Education Conference Proceedings July 2008 (pp. 83-96). Cape Coast: Faculty of Education, University of Cape Coast.
  • Cobbold, C. & Dare, A. L. (2009). Supporting the Continuing Professional Development of Teachers in Sub-Saharan Africa: An Integrated Teacher Education Model. In F.K. Amedahe (Ed.). Teacher Education Conference Proceedings July 2008 (pp. 13-22). Cape Coast: Faculty of Education, University of Cape Coast.
  • Cobbold, C. (2007). Induction for Teacher Retention: The Missing Link in Teacher Education Policy in Ghana. Postscript 8(1), 7-18.
  • Government of Ghana. (2002). Meeting the Challenges of Education in the Twenty-first Century (Report of the President’s Committee on Review of Education Reforms in Ghana). Accra: Adwinsa Publications.
  • Nsowah, M.K. (2008). Teacher Retention in Ghana: The Way Forward. In PRINCOF. Developments in Basic Teacher Education in Ghana (pp. 114-119). Kumasi: Greenland’s Concept
  • Obeng, E.A. (2008). Financing Teacher Education in Ghana. In PRINCOF. Developments in Basic Teacher Education in Ghana (pp. 133-140). Kumasi: Greenland’s Concept.
  • Opare, J.A. (2008). The Transition of Ghanaian Training Colleges to the Tertiary Level: Prospects, Challenges and the Way Forward In PRINCOF. Developments in Basic Teacher Education in Ghana (pp. 155-158). Kumasi: Greenland’s Concept.

Teacher Preparation and Continuing Professional Development in Africa (TPA)

tpaproject@sussex.ac.uk