The Unit at the Akenten Appiah-Menka University of Skills Training and Entrepreneurial Development (AAMUSTED) responsible for organising and coordinating Students Internship Programmes (SIP) has held a day’s workshop on the Supported Teaching in Schools (STS) programme for some 260 Mentors and Lead Mentors from its partner Basic Schools in the Greater Kumasi area.
The STS is a cardinal requirement of the newly instituted National Teachers Standards (NTS) seeking to professionalise teaching in Ghana. Through the STS, all teacher trainees pursuing a four-year Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) programme in Ghana, spend about 30 percent of the programme duration for practical professional training under Mentors and Lead Mentors in partner schools. STS is thus one of the four pillars anchoring the new four-year Teacher Education Curriculum.
Therefore, the workshop on March 31, 2022, was to orientate the participants in their roles as Mentors and Lead Mentors towards the holistic training of the University’s Early Grade student teachers. The participants comprised teachers (Mentors), Headteachers (Lead Mentors), Directors and Deputy Directors of Education, and Circuit Supervisors.
The Dean of the Faculty of Education and Communication Sciences (FECS), Dr. Samuel Adu Gyamfi, opened the workshop on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor of AAMUSTED, Prof. Frederick Kwaku Sarfo, and assured the participants that the workshop was the beginning of AAMUSTED’s partnership with them. He was optimistic that their union would lead them to explore a better understanding of the STS programme and contribute to its successful implementation.
Until the recent transition from a Diploma in Basic Education to the four-year B.Ed in Basic Education programme, teacher preparation programmes had mainly focused on coursework in specialized subjects, educational foundation, and pedagogy. “Practice teaching in schools occupied a small part of the programmes and was reduced to training in lesson preparation and presentation under clinical supervision,” he observed.
He was happy to indicate that the B.Ed Programme widened the scope of its field experience component to ensure that pre-service teachers adequately acquire the knowledge, skills, attitudes, values, and competencies required of a 21st-century professional teacher. Thus, the role of the senior teachers as Mentors and Lead Mentors was crucial in the efforts to groom teachers imbued with values like honesty, integrity, innovation, and responsible citizenship.
Dr. Adu Gyamfi encouraged the participants to take every bit of the activities seriously to avoid challenges in providing the needed support to the student teachers when the time is due.
Several relevant presentations were made on topics including the Overview of the STS, Responsibilities of Mentors, and Supporting Task for Mentors/Mentees. Dr. Michael Osei Aboagye and Mr. Nathan Ohene Gyang, both lecturers of AAMUSTED, were facilitators for the workshop. A special session was devoted to group work and group presentations to accentuate the involvement of participants and provide an adequate basis for certification.
Other speakers at the workshop were the Coordinator of the SIP in AAMUSTED, Mr. Raphael Dzakpasu, and the Head of the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, Mr. Impraim Kobina Adentwi.