Lack of trained and motivated teachers/caregivers for children affects the smooth transition to and success in primary school, a deputy director of the Ghana Education Service (GES) has observed.
Ms Esther Happy Edjeani, Acting Director of Pre-Tertiary Private Schools in Ghana, said the country needed trained caregivers who would employ quality developmental appropriate methods and materials in a safe, non-violent and inclusive environment to teach its children.
She was speaking at the fourth graduation ceremony of the Human Touch Foundation Early Childhood Development Teacher Training Centre at Labone in Accra on Saturday under the theme: “Formally Trained Child Caregivers/Teachers: A Remedy to Quality Early Childhood Education in Ghana.”
The Institute, which graduated 17 students, mostly childcare teachers, awarded Advance Certificate in Early Childhood Development. It is affiliated to the Fan the Flame Ministry in the USA and is also a GES approved child development teacher training centre in the country.
“The requirement for success as an early childhood teacher/caregiver, resolves around personal disposition, knowledge of the child’s developmental needs and organizing learning experiences around themes,” Ms Edjeani reminded the graduates.
However, she added, “…the status of the child as a weak and vulnerable member of a family or community with special needs not commonly conceived by everyone, gives the teacher an additional role of an advocate.”
This advocacy, the educationist believed also required some skills which must be incorporated in the training of the childcare teacher.
She indicated that an important attribute of a trained child teacher was the exhibition of emotional qualities such as love, respect for children, compassion, empathy, caring, sensitivity and warmth.
A good early childhood education teacher would spend long hours of planning and gathering materials to make the child’s day more effective and interesting, Ms Edjeani said.
“Be willing to sacrifice your free time for the sake of the children and the school. Be kind and cheerful in going about your work. Be helpful and tolerant to the children,” she advised.
Moreover, she added that a trained teacher must establish and maintain a safe, healthy learning environment and advance the physical and intellectual competence of children to ensure that the head, heart and hand are all well trained.
The promotion of the social and emotional development of the child through positive guidance, she said must not be overlooked as well.
She said it was important to train certain type of teacher for specialized task, different from what the traditional teacher training in Ghana offers.
The GES deputy director, praised the curricular of Human Touch Foundation and said it is an institute that offers robust and innovative training for its students.
Underscoring the importance of education as a propeller of national development, the Chancellor of the Institute, Bishop Dusan Pobee noted “education is the most viable instrument for social, economic mental changes that equip individual with the requisite knowledge, skills and values crucial for civic order, citizenship, sustainable development and poverty reduction.”
He said the institute since its inception in 2008, had grown from strength to strength with immense support from the Ghana Education Service.
The Principal of Institute, Pastor Jonas Henaku called on government to enforce the training of early childhood caregivers and teachers at the early childhood education level.
“The future of children lies with the foundation that is laid at the early childhood development stage,” he said.
Commenting the course on behalf of the graduates, Ms Emelia Anang, the course prefect in sum said, “We have been academically baptized, inducted with professional and practical teaching techniques and skills for the effective handling of children.”