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Regional News of Monday, 31 May 2021

Source: IDP Foundation

GTEC, IDP Foundation support public school teacher training in partnership with Sesame Workshop

GTEC, IDP partner with Sesame Workshop that encourages creative, exploratory learning GTEC, IDP partner with Sesame Workshop that encourages creative, exploratory learning

In a unique public-private partnership, an innovative programme that encourages creative, exploratory learning is being used to help train public school teachers in Ghana.

The IDP Foundation, Inc. (IDPF), dedicated to encouraging and supporting sustainable solutions to complex global issues, has partnered with the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission (GTEC), established by the Education Regulatory Bodies Act, 2020 (Act 1023) to make a teacher-training programme IDPF developed with Sesame Workshop available to pre-service teacher education institutions in Ghana. The GTEC as provided in Act 1023 is to promote;

1.The highest standards and relevance of teaching and research programmes;

2.Equitable and inclusive access to all programmes and services;

3.Transparent governance best practices, including reporting and checks and balances to ensure full accountability;

4.A culture of independent, life-long learning and scientific inquiry among students and the wider society; and

5.Affirmative action for persons with disabilities and other marginalised and disadvantaged groups and mainstreaming of non-discrimination policies and practice.

The programme called the Techniques for Effective Teaching (TFET) has been shared with the GTEC and integrated into the Professional Development Sessions (PDS) of tutors of the Colleges of Education, where all public-school teachers are trained and qualified.

TFET is an interactive and hands-on practical training programme that features 14 modules. Each module includes a 10-minute video, accompanying print materials and a teacher workbook designed to support kindergarten and early primary school teachers.

Working with the GTEC, the IDP Foundation engaged Sesame Workshop to conduct virtual instruction to master trainers from all the Colleges of Education in Ghana using a two-tier “train the trainer” model. These trainers will then coach college lecturers (tutors) who, in turn, will provide instruction to student teachers during the 2021-2022 academic year.

This coaching has already begun at the Colleges. The lecturers will also support ongoing training that will be used in the 46 Colleges of Education across the country. The cascading approach to training helps make the programme adaptable and scalable.

Prof. Mohammed Salifu, Director – General of GTEC in his comments on the programme said“We are developing teachers who are dedicated to creating child-friendly classrooms where students can have fun and enjoy learning,” “We look forward to rolling out the TFET resources developed by Sesame Workshop and the IDP Foundation as part of the training for teachers who will lead classrooms in Ghana’s public school system.”

Teaching methods emphasized in TFET encourage creative, interactive and exploratory learning. TFET topics developed for its teacher-training programme include Positive Discipline and Classroom Management and Developing and Teaching with Creative, Low-Cost Resources and are geared to encourage child-centred teaching skills that make learning enjoyable for children and nurture their social and emotional development.

“In this important collaboration, the IDP Foundation is excited to extend the TFET training programme beyond the teachers in our Rising Schools Programme to the future public school teachers,” said Corina Gardner, Executive Director of the IDP Foundation.

She also said “With quality education being challenged by a global pandemic, it’s critical for the public and private sectors to forge a shared commitment to creating inclusive and interactive classrooms.”

TFET videos feature engaging and playful interactions between Sesame Street Muppets Zobi and Kami, with actress Matilda Asante in the role of their favourite teacher. They offer a vibrant demonstration of how teachers can work in interactive ways with young students.

The programme, which was created in 2012 by IDPF and Sesame Workshop, has been used to train more than 1,500 teachers in over 120 low-fee private schools that are part of IDPF’s Rising Schools Programme.

“At a time when the education system has been upended by the unprecedented pandemic, it is now more important than ever before to support teachers in providing child-friendly, inclusive education for young children,” said Shari Rosenfeld, Senior Vice President for International Social Impact at Sesame Workshop. He also said “Sesame Workshop is proud to partner with IDPF and work with GTEC to scale this impactful training programme and empower the next generation of teachers to deliver high-quality learning to young students across Ghana.”

Since creating the Rising Schools Programme over 11 years ago in Ghana, the IDP Foundation, working with local finance partner Sinapi Aba Savings and Loans, has supported 690 school owners and has impacted more than 150,000 students.