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Let’s allocate adequate budgets for training, compensation and maintenance of teachers- Oti Boateng

Let’s allocate adequate budgets for training, compensation and maintenance of teachers- Oti Boateng

Omanhene of New Juaben, Chancellor of All Nations University and former Government Statistician Daasebre Prof. (Emeritus) Oti Boateng has called on government, policy makers, Ministry of Education, Departments, agencies, Ghana Education Service, and other stakeholders to allocate adequate funds for training, compensation maintenance of teachers and the teaching profession despite financial constraints.

Let's allocate adequate budgets for training, compensation and maintenance of teachers- Oti Boateng

The latest call by Daasebre comes at the period the educational sector is facing many challenges including inadequate infrastructure , congestion in dormitories, non-payments of outstanding arrears, growing agitations on the labour front over worsening conditions of service for teachers, lecturers, resulting in the declaration of a full-blown strike by Senior Staff Association of University of Ghana (SSA-UG), Federation of Universities’ Senior Staff Association of Ghana (FUSSAG), with University Teachers Association (UTAG) to join on Tuesday August 2, 2021.

According to him, teachers can only give off their best for the benefits of the educational sector if they are fairly remunerated, motivated and well- equipped.

Speaking at the 12th Congregation ceremony of the SDA College of Education, ASOKORE-KOFORIDUA, on 1 August 2021 on the topic : Advancing Teacher Education in Ghana – The Role of Teacher-Trainee, Daasebre Oti Boateng said ” In spite of the financial challenges that all governments face from time to time, there ought to be adequate funds allocated by the nation to resource the training, compensation and maintenance of teachers and the teaching profession. It is only when teachers are treated fairly with decent compensation package to raise and support a family, that the teacher can be focused, motivated and challenged to unleash their full potential. No doubt, a happy teacher makes a happy student”.

Daasebre Oti Boateng has also urged teachers, District Educational Directors, Parents-Teacher Associations of Ghana, Metropolitan, Municipal, District Chief Executives (MMDCES) and teacher-trainees to support programmes that uplift and empower communities to lead healthier, peaceful and more prosperous lives by taking a cue from his award-winning Root-Based global model for development.

He noted that “I cannot end without mentioning the impact of the community on the teacher working therein. A caring community, a hard-working community, a just community, a clean community and a learning community impact positively on the mind and heart of the teacher. Thus, as we focus on the teacher we must also join support programmes that uplift and empower communities to lead healthier, peaceful and more prosperous lives. The root-based global model for development of which I am the pioneer, does precisely that. Let the trainee teachers have constant feedback interactions with their communities to generate the essential extra knowledge derived from lived experience for mutually beneficial outcomes.
I appreciate your listening to me and wish all the teachers, trainee teachers and all of you here assembled, a covid-free life! Thank You”.

In a six-page paper, Daasebre introduced and delved deeper into Six Principles for Teacher Education. “The teacher trainee is to inculcate the set of six principles, namely, knowledge, meaningful experience, personalized learning, academic community learning, critical reflection and growth that define, in comprehensive ways, the conceptual framework for teacher education. Properly armed with these principles, the teacher trainee is better enabled to play the crucial role as an indispensable catalyst in redefining education in the country”

Apparently, these principles further enable the trainees to serve as inspiration to attract new entrants to sustain the teaching profession.

Let's allocate adequate budgets for training, compensation and maintenance of teachers- Oti BoatengLet's allocate adequate budgets for training, compensation and maintenance of teachers- Oti Boateng

BELOW IS THE ADDRESS AS GUEST SPEAKER AT THE 12TH CONGREGATION CEREMONY OF THE SDA COLLEGE OF EDUCATION, ASOKORE-KOFORIDUA, ON 1ST AUGUST 2021.

TOPIC: ADVANCING TEACHER EDUCATION IN GHANA – THE ROLE OF TEACHER-TRAINEE

BY DAASEBRE PROF. (EMERITUS) OTI BOATENG OMANHENE OF NEW JUABEN AND CHANCELLOR, ALL NATIONS UNIVERSITY.

Hon Minister of Education
Hon. Eastern Regional Minister
Principal of the SDA College of Education
Municipal Chief Executive, New Juaben North
The Management and Alumni of the SDA College of Education
Esteemed Traditional Rulers
Members of the media
Distinguished invited guests
Ladies and Gentlemen

Preamble
Let me first thank the Management and the Alumni of the SDA College of Education for the honour of inviting me to speak at this forum on the salient theme of “Advancing Teacher Education in Ghana – The Role of Teacher Trainee”. I also wish to extend hearty felicitations to the College on your 60th anniversary and for providing sixty years of remarkable adventist teacher education in Ghana.

Before delving into the topic, I wish to state that my mother, Nana Akosua Akyamaa II, the late Paramount Queenmother of Asante Juaben, was a staunch SDA member from the mid-1940’s until her passing in 1994. I used to accompany her regularly to the Church, carrying her bible and in the process committing the weekly texts into memory. My ability to recite all the weekly texts during the thirteenth Sabbaths earned me several bibles, especially from Pastor Appiah Danquah. This unique foundation established at the SDA Church largely explains why I was chosen from Konongo-Odumasi Secondary School to act as Macbeth in a Shakespearian drama during Ghana’s Independence Day on 6th March 1957 and again selected as Aide de Camp to the Australian Mission to attend Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s inauguration as the first President of Ghana at the Old Parliament House in Accra on 1st July 1960.

Introduction
In order to properly appreciate the topic under reference, Advancing Teacher Education in Ghana – The Role of Teacher Trainee, let me first define what teacher education really means. This will then be followed by a thorough discussion of the role of the teacher trainee in the context of a set of six desirable principles that define the conceptual framework of teacher education within a well-articulated national teacher education programme.

Teacher education may be defined as a programme that is related to the development of teacher proficiency and competence that would enable and empower the teacher to meet the requirements of the profession and face the challenges therein. It encompasses teaching skills, sound pedagogical theory and professional skills. These constitute a robust foundation upon which to build any superstructure of holistic teacher education. Thus, an amalgamation of teaching skills, pedagogical theory and professional skills would serve to create the right knowledge, attitude and skills in teachers to promote holistic development.

The American Commission on Teacher Education correctly observes that the quality of a nation depends upon the quality of its citizens while the quality of its citizens largely and critically depends upon the quality of their education, which in turn depends, more than upon any single factor, upon the quality of their teacher. It is well known that the quality and extent of learner achievement are determined primarily by teacher competence, sensitivity and teacher motivation. The aspects that need greater emphasis in this regard are; the length of academic preparation, the level and quality of subject matter knowledge, the repertoire of pedagogical skills that teachers possess to meet the needs of diverse learning situations, the degree of commitment to the profession, sensitivity to contemporary issues and the level of motivation.
These requirements call for holistic teacher preparation rather than mere training. The teacher must be learned and must master the art and the science of passing on knowledge to the next generation of humanity in impactful ways.

An educational institution, such as the Seventh-Day Adventist College of Education, performs a critical function of providing learning experiences to lead their students from the darkness of ignorance to the light of knowledge. The key personnel in this major enterprise, responsible for implementing the educational process at any stage, are the teachers.

Six Principles for Teacher Education
The teacher trainee is to inculcate the set of six principles, namely, knowledge, meaningful experience, personalized learning, academic community learning, critical reflection and growth that define, in comprehensive ways, the conceptual framework for teacher education. Properly armed with these principles, the teacher trainee is better enabled to play the crucial role as an indispensable catalyst in redefining education in the country. These principles further enable the trainees to serve as inspiration to attract new entrants to sustain the teaching profession. An elaboration of these principles will now be given along with statements about what each principle implies for teacher trainees and its implications for teacher education programmes.

Knowledge
Effective teachers possess a well-grounded knowledge of the content areas that are central to their teaching. Additionally, they have an in-depth comprehension of the forms of knowledge embodied in the traditional disciplines, of the interdisciplinary nature of inquiry, and of the multiple forms of understanding that individual students bring to the classroom. Teacher trainees are, therefore, expected to be well grounded in student development as well as the content areas that are central to their teaching and assessment strategies. This should be done within teacher education programmes that help teacher trainees to acquire practical wisdom which integrates forms of understanding, skilled action in and outside classrooms, and a particular sensitivity to the diversity of students.

Meaningful Experience
Teachers are expected to be thoughtful, reflective and caring practitioners in actual educational settings. For these reasons, teacher trainees are expected to create and nurture a positive physical, social, and academic learning environment. Teacher trainees must also act as thoughtful, reflective and caring practitioners while participating in their field experiences. Teacher education programmes must, therefore, assist trainees in developing and assessing their effectiveness in actual educational settings. These programmes must maintain or create experiences in schools and on campus so that instructors can assist trainees in developing and assessing this professional expertise.

Thus, the teacher education programmes should include early and continuous engagement-through direct immersion or simulation-with the multiple realities of children, teaching, and schools. These programmes are to assist the teacher trainee to create and nurture the requisite positive physical, social, and academic learning environment.

Personalized Learning
Good teachers build on their students’ interests, orientation to learning, and hopes. Teacher trainees are, therefore, expected to understand students’ ability levels, interests, and learning styles. They should, therefore, demonstrate instruction that reflects the diversity among all learners. Above all, teacher trainees are expected to understand students’ ability levels, interests, and learning styles. In this respect, teacher education programmes should offer teacher trainees opportunities to individualize and personalize their preparation as teachers. These programmes should also give teacher trainees a significant measure of control over how, when, and where their learning takes place, thus enabling their interests and values to shape major portions of their work.

Academic Community Learning
Effective teacher preparation requires that participants develop a sense of community through engagement in shared activities and issues. The enhanced relationships associated with the establishment of such learning community has several advantages for all its members. It brings coherence to programmes, fosters an appreciation of the power of cooperative effort, and encourages a dialogue that promotes the continual rejuvenation of teacher education.

Teacher trainees are expected to understand and to be involved in their academic community learning.They should also build and develop relationships within the school, corporation and community. To attain these objectives, teacher education programmes should foster, in a simplified jigsaw combinatorics, a sense of community among their teacher candidates, among faculty members, between faculty members and trainees, and between the university and the schools.

Critical Reflection
Effective teachers reflect critically on the moral, political, social, and economic dimensions of education. This requires an understanding of the multiple contexts in which schools function, an appreciation of diverse perspectives on educational issues, and a commitment to democratic forms of interaction. On this basis, teacher trainees are expected to reflect continuously on all aspects of their teaching experience to identify ways for improvement as individuals, as part of the school community, and as part of the teaching profession. Thus, all teacher education programmes should encourage students to develop their own social and educational visions that are connected to critically reflective practice.

Growth
Teachers must be committed to lifelong intellectual, personal, and professional growth as they are more than technicians or just purveyors of information. From this perspective, teacher trainees are expected to develop a philosophy of teaching and learning to establish continuous professional growth which should include sustained analysis of ideas, values, commitments, and professional development. This should be done through teacher education programmes that permit the trainees to promote their learning through inquiry, foster intellectual curiosity, develop a philosophy of teaching and learning, and commit themselves to lifelong intellectual and professional growth.
In a nutshell, we need teacher education programmes that stimulate the exploration and development of the full range of human capabilities to enable the teacher trainees unleash their full potential.

Recommendations
The above elaboration shows clearly that the set of six principles must be implemented within well-planned and articulated national teacher education programmes that ensure the sustainable production of teachers in the country. A commitment to the development of exemplary teacher education programmes in the country calls for the adoption and enactment in all our teacher education programmes of the set of six principles that define, in comprehensive ways, the conceptual framework for teacher education.

Equipped with these principles, the teacher trainee is better enabled to play the critical role not only as an indispensable catalyst in redefining education in the country but also as an inspiration to attract new entrants to sustain the teaching profession.

To attain the desirable goal of having a talented and dedicated teacher in every classroom in every community, there is need for sustainable investments in the preparation of teachers. This should be done through teacher education programmes that permit our teacher candidates to promote their learning through inquiry, foster intellectual curiosity, develop a philosophy of teaching and learning, and commit themselves to lifelong intellectual and professional growth.

Teacher education is ever-evolving and dynamic. In order to prepare teachers who are competent to face the challenges of the dynamic society, teacher education has to keep abreast of recent developments and trends. This calls for effective liaison with relevant stakeholders to undertake periodic data collection and analysis needed to update the- changing psychological and attitudinal foundations of the profession. The root-based institutions, which include citizens and community leaders, are equipped and ready to assist in this endeavour.

The teacher, who is mainly responsible for implementing the educational process at any stage, is the most important element in any educational programme. There is, therefore, the crucial need to make teachers pivotal to any meaningful education reform in the country.

I further endorse the recent call to Government by thirty Civil Society Organisations not only to commit to global benchmarks of 20 percent national budget allocation and six percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to education but also to prioritise education spending in the budget.
I equally applaud the rapid response given to this call by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, when he announced in the just-ended two-day global summit in London, that Government has set aside 23 percent of the national budget for educational development in the country.
What now remains to fulfill is the effective prioritisation of the educational expenditure with the united aid of teachers.

Conclusion
In spite of the financial challenges that all governments face from time to time, there ought to be adequate funds allocated by the nation to resource the training, compensation and maintenance of teachers and the teaching profession. It is only when teachers are treated fairly with decent compensation package to raise and support a family, that the teacher can be focused, motivated and challenged to unleash their full potential. No doubt, a happy teacher makes a happy student.

I cannot end without mentioning the impact of the community on the teacher working therein. A caring community, a hard-working community, a just community, a clean community and a learning community impact positively on the mind and heart of the teacher. Thus, as we focus on the teacher we must also join support programmes that uplift and empower communities to lead healthier, peaceful and more prosperous lives. The root-based global model for development of which I am the pioneer, does precisely that. Let the trainee teachers have constant feedback interactions with their communities to generate the essential extra knowledge derived from lived experience for mutually beneficial outcomes.
I appreciate your listening to me and wish all the teachers, trainee teachers and all of you here assembled, a covid-free life!

Thank you.

Meanwhile, Daasebre presented a plaque from Asokoreman, Benkum Division of New Juaben Traditional Area, to Professor William Kofi Koomson, Principal of the College, honouring him for his insightful leadership and significant contribution to the revitalisation of Asokoreman in particular and New Juaben in general.


Daasebre presenting the plaque from Asokoreman to Professor Koomson, Principal of the College.

Source : africaneditors.com

Below are exclusive pictures from the 12th Congregation of SDA College of Education:

Let's allocate adequate budgets for training, compensation and maintenance of teachers- Oti BoatengPresentation to Daasebre Prof. (Emeritus) Oti Boateng, Omanhene of New Juaben by SDA College of Education during its 12th Congregation held at Asokore-Koforidua on Sunday August 1, 2021

Let's allocate adequate budgets for training, compensation and maintenance of teachers- Oti Boateng

Let's allocate adequate budgets for training, compensation and maintenance of teachers- Oti BoatengLet's allocate adequate budgets for training, compensation and maintenance of teachers- Oti Boateng

Let's allocate adequate budgets for training, compensation and maintenance of teachers- Oti Boateng

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