Transforming Teacher Preparation for Development of Education in Ghana: Challenges, Progress and Prospects

Akyeampong, Kwame (2020). Transforming Teacher Preparation for Development of Education in Ghana: Challenges, Progress and Prospects. In: Lefty, Lauren and Frazer, James W. eds. Teaching the World's Teachers. Baltimore, MD: John Hopkins University, pp. 179–198.

URL: https://jhupbooks.press.jhu.edu/title/teaching-wor...

Abstract

Recent history of teacher education reforms in Ghana can be grouped under three main periods. The first came under the 1986 education reforms, which produced a restructured education system and rapidly improved access to basic education (primary and lower secondary), while simultaneously producing a decline in the quality of basic education that coincided with an exodus of trained teachers to find better-paid work in other countries. Unqaulified teachers were recruited to fill the vacancies that had been created by the exodus. On teacher education, the 1986 reforms raised entry qualifications for teacher trainees and initiated a program to replace unqualified teachers with trained teachers. The Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education (FCUBE) and decentralizatio reforms in1995 were introduced partly to address the decline in quality education that had resulted from the rapid increase in access to basic education, following the 1986 education reforms. Under FCUBE, the curriculum of preservice teacher education was reviewed to emphasize learner-centered pedagogy as part of other measures to improve teacher quality. Policy makers also raised the importance of professional development and linked it to the training of headteachers, who were in turn to train teachers at the local school level. Teacher education again came under the spotlight, after the Ghana Education Service produced a set of guidelines for the implementation of a new teacher education policy in 2000. The guidlines signaled a major shift in teacher preparation policy in Ghana and laid the foundation for another period of teacher education reforms ushered in by the Pre-Tertiary Professional Teacher Development and Management (PTPDM) policy framework in 2017.

In this chapter, I shall discuss the significance of each of these policy periods and how they have each contributed to a transformation of teacher preparation in response to imperatives to improve the quality of basic education in Ghana. The chapter is organized as follows - the first section discusses the 1986 and 1995 FCUBE education reforms and how they triggered initial reforms in teacher education for basic school teachers. Next I discuss the 2000 teacher education policy guidelines, which laid the foundations for a new direction in teacher preparation in Ghana. The third section examines the PTPDM policy framework, how it extended the 2000 policy guidelines, and how it is continuing to shape teacher preparation for Ghanaian basic school teachers. In the fourth and concluding section, I reflect on the progress that has been made, and I highlight the significance and prospects for the future of teacher preparation in Ghana, as well as its implications for future research.

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