GENERAL PRIMARY EDUCATION
General primary education stands for providing education to young children: Kindergarten (KG), lower primary (LP) and upper primary (UP). In comparison to other parts of the world, this general primary education lags behind in the developing countries. The majority of the children therefore miss the chances and opportunities to develop themselves, make choices and create perspective for their future.
Education is therefore essential for the development of a country. A society will be able to change and come to full development, when its members have access to qualitatively good education. To reach this, a country must be able to integrate all educational related factors and aspects into one education policy.
This is not easy for developing countries, where people are confronted with numerous problems to survive on a daily basis. It appears that the confrontation with the daily problems distracts the attention from organising qualitatively good education for future generations. The challenge for a developing country is to continuously set the link between the problems with which residents are confronted and the role that qualitatively good education can provide.
The AMO Programme is based on the UNESCO Education for All (EFA) movement. AMO aims to improve the quality of education and to guarantee excellence for all. This way, everyone may attain recognised and measurable learning outcomes; in particularly regarding reading and writing, counting and arithmetic and essential capabilities for the future.
AMO Programme and Active Learning
“I hear and I forget; I see and remember; I do and I understand!” (Confucius)
This insight, already so many centuries old, is still providing important indications for the way in which we learn. Everyone, young and old, rich and poor, learns by experiencing. Experiencing is living something yourself, witnessing something yourself, feeling something yourself and doing something yourself. You are very active then. And because an experience can leave an unforgettable impression, it can be particularly suitable as a rich source to learn from.
In teaching we often forget or jump over this natural behaviour when we offer teaching processes and new teaching material. Thus, we consider the term ‘learning’ as reading information and/or following an instruction – the text and teachers play an important role in this.
Additionally, in this theoretical teaching knowledge plays a vital role. But unfortunately, it often emerges that this knowledge is not satisfactory in practice, because there is a missing link between the knowledge and the demand from reality. Learning is much more than gathering knowledge, it is also about applying it and recognising situations in which one can apply it. This brings us to the importance of learning while experiencing/being actively involved in the learning process.
A common feature of Ghana’s educational system is rote memorization, otherwise referred to as ‘call and repeat’. In Ghana’s (especially Public) schools, learning is delivered through a rote-based ‘chalk & talk’ method. Teachers introduce lessons with notes on the chalk board, tell learners what the concepts mean, help them to memorize and then test not their understanding but their retention level. Available learning materials for child use are improvised by the teacher and really they are not enough. Classrooms are often overcrowded with class size reaching up to 60.
Rote learning is ingrained in the minds of teachers given that their own basic education was in that manner. But continuous training and development has demonstrated to solve this problem. Early Childhood Workforce in 2019 suggested that Pre-service training should place a heavy emphasis on hands-on practice opportunities. Model Practice Classrooms should be used to allow trainee teachers practice different approaches, including activity-based methods. These opportunities should also include scenarios that allow teachers to practice navigating situations they are likely to encounter in the classroom (e.g. overcrowding, supporting children with special needs) so that they are not experiencing them for the first time when they complete their training.
Although training is being done, typically it is offered only in the form of one-off trainings and does not have an efficient continuous teacher monitoring/evaluation and refresher component. Continuous Professional Development in the form of In-Service Education and Training (INSET), Mentoring and Coaching should be provided to ensure that curriculum and techniques that teachers learn during pre-service training are continuously reinforced.
The Pre-tertiary education curriculum of 2019 brings a new approach to teaching and learning, which is child-centred, activity-based and recognises the value of play in early years. Through the work of NTTC, T-TEL and other stakeholders there is now in place a National Teacher Education Curriculum and policies that ensure that trainee teachers all over Ghana receive the same curriculum training.
PLAYING GIVES EXPERIENCE
AGODI MA OSUAHU
BE IN TOUCH
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