Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, the Minister of Education, has charged the Governing Councils of Colleges of Education to produce innovative and critical thinking teachers to impart the right knowledge to students for national development.
“We need to train our teacher trainees to go beyond memorization of lesson notes and focus on being assertive in creating modules for the transformation of the country. We need to be asking them to create a city without pollution instead of asking them to define pollution and how to stop pollution,” the Minister added.
Dr Adutwum stated that teachers and students who were critical thinkers came to the realization of four Cs of education- collaboration, creativity, critical thinking and communication, making them competitive on the global market.
The Minister said this in Accra at the inauguration of 10 Governing Councils of Colleges of Education and administered the oath of office and oath of secrecy to the members with the mandate to proffer strategic direction in managing the affairs of their respective institutions.
He said the Colleges of Education played a critical role in the transformation of the country’s educational system and charged them to leave a legacy by transforming the trainees to be productive and meaningful to society.
The Minister advised the Council members to focus on the mission and vision of the Colleges to improve quality teaching and learning and not only focus on administrative responsibilities like promotion and allowances of members.
Dr Adutwum, also the Member of Parliament for Bosomtwe in the Ashanti Region, urged the leadership of the Colleges to avoid trivial issues like prescribing uniforms for the trainees but concentrate more importantly on improving learning outcomes in the institutions.
“When you want your students or trainees to be so compliant that you require them to wear uniforms, they will take the same into the classrooms and expect the pupils or the students to be compliant to the extent that the students cannot ask questions in class,” he said.
“I have visited a number of schools and anytime I ask the students at the end of my interaction with them if they have a question for me, no hand goes up.”
“What it tells me is that invariably we tame the students. We tell them we are the teachers, we are here to dispense knowledge to you, we give you the knowledge, keep it close in your head and on the day of the exams, give it back to us and you are the best student,” he said.
Dr Adutwum emphasized the need for the trainees to have a voice in the teaching and learning environment by meaningfully participating in the discourse of teaching activities and be empowered to ask questions without being intimidated.
He said the country had built six state-of-the-art science laboratories in the country and was transforming other institutions into Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) schools to produce students and graduates who would be fit for purpose.
He said the first-ever National Standardised Test organised by the Ministry for Primary Four pupils revealed that the Ahafo, Bono East and Bono regions which were formerly together as the Brong Ahafo Region, emerged as a strong base for lower primary education.
After the test in Mathematics and English Language, P4 pupils in the Ahafo Region posted the highest mean scores of 67 per cent in English and 58 per cent in Mathematics, while those in the Bono Region posted 65 per cent in English and 55 per cent in Mathematics, with those in the Bono East Region scoring 58 per cent in English and 50 per cent in Mathematics.
The Volta Region posted the least mean scores of 34 per cent in English and 27 per cent in Mathematics.
The Minister said the results of the test would enable the Ministry to design strategic interventions to address some of the pitfalls in the regions and districts that performed poorly.
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