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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

2.3 Teacher Training College Curriculum

2.3.1 Structure and Process of Curriculum Development

The Professional Board of the Institute of Education at the University of Cape Coast develops curriculum guidelines for initial teacher training for basic education. These guidelines have to be approved by the Teacher Education Division (TED) of the Ghana Education Service (GES) and the Ministry of Education. The preparation of syllabi for the TTCs takes place in subject panels formed by the Teacher Education Directorate with representation from the Curriculum Research and Development Division (CRDD) of the GES. The syllabi are then sent to the Professional Board of the Institute of Education for comment and ultimate approval.

2.3.2. TTC Course Structure11

11 At the time of writing the weighting of the courses was being changed. The first year of training was for academic education only whilst the remaining two years was devoted to curriculum studies and methodology. This new system has just been introduced for the 1998/99 first year cohort; the second and third year trainees are still following the old curriculum structure.

The three-year TTC Certificate ‘A’ course for basic education is structured as follows: general education (30 per cent); academic education (30 per cent); and, professional studies (40 per cent). General education is comprised of eight ‘core’ subjects taught in all 38 TTCs. These are:

· basic mathematics
· English language
· basic science
· Ghanaian language
· physical education
· cultural studies
· education
· agricultural studies

Under the ‘academic education’ component of the programme, each student takes two elective subjects chosen from science-based subjects (group one) or vocational subjects (group two). Subject availability varies from college to college with some specialising in group one subjects, and others in group two subjects. The groups and corresponding subjects are shown below.

Group One

Group Two

· mathematics

· English literature

· agricultural science

· social studies

· science

· vocational skills

· technical skills

· French

· physical education

· life skills

Three of the 38 colleges offer group one elective subjects only; twenty-one offer group two elective subjects only; and 14 offer both group one and two electives.

Time allocation is in terms of the number of periods per week with each period consisting of a 40-minute lesson. Officially, all colleges provide 33 weeks of instruction per year. Colleges, however, have the flexibility to organise their own schedule, but are required to inform the Teacher Education Directorate. Time allocation per subject (both core and elective), per week across each year of study, is shown in Tables 2.2 and 2.3 below. For example, a teacher trainee taking mathematics as a elective subject has six periods of mathematics a week in years one and two, and ten periods a week in year three.

Table 2.2: Teacher Training College - Core Subject Time Allocation (per week)

Core Subject

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

mathematics

4

4

0

science

4

4

0

agricultural science

3

3

0

English language

5

5

5

education

6

6

6

cultural studies

3

3

0

physical education

2

2

0

Ghanaian language

3

3

0

Total

30

30

11

Table 2.3: Teacher Training College - Elective Subject Time Allocation (per week)

Elective Subjects

Students select two subjects from either
Groups 1 or 2



Year 1

Year 2

Year 3


mathematics

2

2

10


agricultural science

3

3

10


science

2

2

10

GROUP 1

technical skills

7

7

8


physical education

6

6

10


English literature

5

5

12


social studies

5

5

12


vocational skills

5

5

12

GROUP 2

life skills

5

5

12


French

7

7

12


During the second and third years, each subject area is divided into two parts: subject knowledge content and subject methodology. The education course is focused on issues related to the theory and practice of education, and does not relate to any specific subject area.

Teaching practice is officially expected to last eight weeks although the actual time spent appears to be much less, typically five to six weeks. This is largely due to the poor organisation of teaching practice in the schools (Akyeampong, 1997).

An analysis of three TTCs by Akyeampong (1997) revealed during the three year course only about one-third of the time is spent on activities directly related to classroom instruction and assessment (see Table 2.4). Moreover, this excludes time lost due to tutor absenteeism, tutor lateness, and other regular college disruptions. Consequently, the quality of instruction and assessment suffer.

Table 2.4: The Breakdown of Official Term Time in Three Colleges

Term

Official Term Time (weeks)

Approximate Contact Time for Teaching and Learning (weeks)

Examination Time (weeks)

Other Activities/Events (weeks)

1

12

Year 1:

10

Year 1:

0

Year 1:

0



Years 2&3:

6

Year 2:

0

Year 2&3: Teaching Practice (TP):

4







Orientation/Settling:

1







Sporting Events:

1

2

11

Year 1:

7

Year 1:

2

Year 1:

0



Year 2&3:

3

Year 2&3:

2

Years 2&3: TP:

4







Examination preparation:

1







Sporting Events:

1

3

10

Year 1:

7

Year 1:

2

Year 1: Exam Preparation:

1



Year 2&3:

4

Year 2&3:

5

Years 2&3:

0

Total

33

Year 1:

24

Year 1:

4

Year 1:

5



Year 2&3:

13

Year 2&3:

13

Years 2&3:

13

Source: Akyeampong, 1997