Six Colleges of Education have been affiliated to the University of Ghana (UG) as part of reforms to boost teacher training in the country.
They are Accra College of Education, Enchi College of Education, Evangelical Presbyterian College of Education, Amedzofe, Gbewaa College of Education, Pusiga, Mount Mary College of Education, Somanya and Peki College of Education.
Fourteen out of the other 40 colleges of education in the country are now affiliated to University of Cape Coast (UCC), University of Education, Winneba, (UEW), eight, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), five, University for Development Studies (UDS), six while the rest would be affiliated to the Technical and Vocational University to be established by government.
The University of Ghana formally introduced the colleges affiliated to it in an event held in Accra yesterday.
The event was also to launch the new four-year Bachelor of Education degree curriculum to be offered by the Colleges in line with the National Teacher Education Curriculum Framework (NTECF) and forms a major component of the teacher education reforms in Ghana.
Akwasi Addae-Boahene, Chief Technical Advisor of Transforming Teacher Education and Learning (T-TEL) Programme and representative of the Education Reform Secretariat, Ministry of Education, said the affiliation process includes a three-year transition after which the affiliated Colleges of Education would be converted into colleges of public universities offering teacher education curriculums.
The Ministry, he said, has budgeted and allocated GH₵4.6 million to support the implementation of the affiliation agreement between the five universities and their affiliated Colleges of Education.
The universities were expected to offer faculty, assessment and certification as well as staff capacity building services to the Colleges of Education, he added.
In July 2018, Mr Addae-Boahene stated that four of the five universities had their Bachelor of Education curricula, which were developed together, approved except UCC, which gained a provisional accreditation in September 2018 and scheduled for review and full accreditation by May this year.
The reforms, he explained that, was to improve the quality of teaching and learning through direct support to the Colleges of Education which would be responsible for rigorous and practically focused training for teachers with the new four-year curriculum.
He said a total of 2000 schools across the country have been identified and adopted by the Ministry at training centres for trainee teachers to undergo their teaching practices.
Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Professor Ebenezer Oduro Owusu, reiterated the University's commitment to support the reforms which were intended to build the competencies of teachers to meet the standard required and raise the status of the teaching profession to make it more attractive to new entrants.
Citing concerns with teachers' education in the country, he said poor performances of students in Ghana and other developing countries was because initial teacher education programmes have outlived their usefulness and lack modern trends of knowledge and skills acquisition.
The new four-year Bachelor of Education degree was necessary to provide teacher trainees with sufficient time, intellectual rigour and exposure to practical teaching to enable them to be trained to the standard Ghana requires.
Acting Provost of the College of Education, Professor Michael Tagoe, noted that poor learning outcomes of pupils and students and the downward trend in quality of education were major challenges facing Ghana's educational system.
He said the four-year Bachelor of Education degree would help in understanding the challenges and blend theory with practice to find solutions to the problems adding that the University would mentor its affiliates in the spirit of commitment and excellence.