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close this bookGhana: A Baseline Study of the Teacher Education System (CIE, 2000, 67 p.)
close this folderChapter 2: Teacher Education in Ghana
View the document2.1 Introduction
View the document2.2 Historical Overview of the Development of Teacher Education
View the document2.3 Teacher Training College Curriculum
View the document2.4 Assessment Procedures
View the document2.5 Instructional Practices in the Teacher Training Colleges
View the document2.6 Conclusion

2.2 Historical Overview of the Development of Teacher Education

Ghana’s first teacher training college opened in 1848 at Akropong-Akwapim by the Basel Mission. This started a tradition of teacher education founded by missions training teachers for their schools. Following independence in 1957 and a strong government commitment to developing human resources, more teacher training colleges were opened to cater for the increase in demand for teachers created by the expansion in school enrolment rates. The history of the development of teacher education in Ghana is a chequered one, often based on ad-hoc programs to meet emergency situations and needs of the education system. As the needs of basic education have changed over time, this required more institutional training to upgrade the level of teaching. Consequently, Ghana has built up a teaching corps comprising different categories of teachers. These are summarised below (and in Table 2.1, page 23):

Certificate ‘A’

The four-year teacher training course was established in 1930 for the training of good quality middle school leavers to teach in the primary and middle schools. As teaching was then a profession that was highly respected, it attracted those middle school leavers with the best qualifications.

Certificate ‘B’

In order to meet the increasing demand for more teachers at the primary level due to the rapid expansion of the education system, a two-year Certificate ‘B’, post-middle school teacher training programme was introduced in 1937.

Post-B Certificate ‘A’

As a result of further expansion of the education system, at the time of the Accelerated Development Plan in 1951, a new two-year programme was introduced for Certificate ‘B’ holders which enabled them to upgrade to a Post-‘B’ Certificate ‘A’ after a period of teaching experience in the classroom.

Certificate ‘A’ (Post-Secondary)

With the expansion of secondary education, in 1950 a new two-year programme was established for secondary school leavers to train them to teach in middle and secondary schools. These graduates were awarded the Certificate ‘A’.

Two-year Specialist/Three-year Diploma

These were teachers trained in specialised subject areas. The two-year programme covered specialisation in home science, physical education, music, and art. It was later up-graded to a three-year diploma course to embrace more subject areas such as English and mathematics. This programme was introduced in 1962, and was open to all Certificate ‘A’ teachers who had classroom experience.

All the programmes described above have been phased out and in their place is now the three-year Post-Secondary Teacher Training Programme leading to Certificate ‘A’ qualification. This programme was introduced in 1978 with the main purpose of improving the professional competence of trained teachers. Presently, there are 38 teacher-training colleges offering courses leading to the award of this certificate. Of the 38 colleges, seven train female teachers only, one is an all male technical TTC, and the remaining 30 are mixed. With the exception of the TTC in Accra, all others are residential. All 38 colleges prepare teachers for both primary and JSS levels. No distinction is made in the training offered by the colleges in terms of the level of school pupils to be taught, but plans to introduce college specialisation by educational level are under discussion currently.

In 1993, the Education Commission on Teacher Education recommended the setting up of only two levels of teacher education. These were:

· 4-year straight degree programme for graduates from senior secondary schools; and
· 2-year post-diploma degree programmes for practising teachers.

This recommendation has yet to be implemented.

Graduate Teachers

There are two types of full-time graduate teachers in Ghana. One group, with professional training, is classified as ‘professional graduate teachers’. The other group, without professional training, is referred to as ‘non-professional graduate teachers’. Graduate teachers are usually posted after their training to secondary schools and TTCs. Not all the training college tutors and secondary school teachers are degree holders, however. Some hold diplomas only.

Table 2.1: Teacher Education Programmes and Qualifications


Duration of Course

Entry Level

Certificate Awarded

Level of teaching after certification

Post-secondary level

3 Years

Completion of Secondary School

Post-secondary Certificate ‘A’

Primary and junior secondary

Higher education (non-graduate level)

3 Years

Completion of Post-Secondary and having taught for 3 years

Diploma Certificate

Either post-secondary teacher training or senior secondary

Higher education (undergraduate level)

3 years or 2 years for post-diploma BEd

Teachers holding diploma certificate, or senior secondary leaving certificate*

BEd Degree

Either post secondary teacher training or, senior secondary school

Higher education (postgraduate level)

1 Year

Holders of graduate degrees e.g. BSc, BA

Post-Graduate Certificate in Education

Senior secondary schools or post-secondary teacher training colleges

* The entry qualification is higher than for the post-secondary level.

Table 2.1 shows the current system of teacher education in Ghana. Since this study is concerned with basic education, the discussion focuses on the three-year post-secondary programme leading to Certificate ‘A’ qualification.