According to the Minister, equipping the country's Colleges of Education is a sine qua non for producing highly qualified teachers who will promote excellent teaching and learning in the classroom.
Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh, who addressed the opening session of a learning summit for teacher education practitioners, said the Ministry recognises that to improve the quality of education, there was the need to ensure that student teachers had the right knowledge, skills and understanding in order to inspire their pupils.
"To improve the quality of education in this country, we must ensure student teachers have the right knowledge, skills and understanding to inspire Ghana's children to fulfil their potential," he said.
He said the government in February 2017, declared high quality education for all with teachers as the focal point, adding that stakeholders had initiated a consultative process to reform the teacher education in Ghana.
The reform is to design an innovative curriculum framework to drive teacher education in the country, and seeks to build on pre-tertiary professional development and management policy and strengthen existing policies to improve the quality of teaching and learning.
He commended the National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE) and Transforming Teacher Education and Learning (T-TEL) for collaborating to conduct research that would guide stakeholders in ongoing teacher education reforms.
He further noted that the vision for the pre-tertiary teacher education programme was to prepare teachers to operate efficiently in basic and secondary schools and to develop and nurture them to become professionals to provide quality education.
The Minister said the country needed to embrace opportunities to create change for students to get the required education and training they needed, adding that as a lower middle income country, Ghana required a population equipped with modern skills and knowledge to drive development.
He commended T-TEL for launching the Challenge Fund to support innovation in teacher education and the payment by Results Fund to reward colleges on the path to improvement.
He said an amount of GH₵2.4 million was disbursed as the first step of funds, hoping to disburse GH₵2 million in the next phase; and therefore encouraged participants to involve themselves fully in the summit and contribute effectively, hoping the evidence presented would help drive change in the country’s educational system.
Mr Akwasi Addae-Boahene, T-TEL Programme Manager, said the programme was launched in 2015 to ensure that teachers received evidence-based teacher education and training in the country.
He said since its inception, T-TEL had supported the NCTE and the National Teaching Council to develop the National Teachers Standards for pre-service teachers and the National Teacher Education Curriculum Framework.
Mr Addae-Boahene explained that the frameworks laid the foundation for the transformation of teacher education policy and design of a national teacher education curriculum for effective training of teachers.
“The frameworks will support system change in teacher education and lead to the standardisation of initial teacher training, and ensure that every child’s right to teachers who are able to support high quality learning is met”, he said.
He said the change would focus on increasing the amount of time student-teachers spent gaining real life teaching practice in schools, move from exams based assessment to national teachers’ standards requirements of professional portfolios and move from generalist to specialist teaching to ensure all developmental needs were addressed.
The learning summit for teacher education practitioners was organised by the National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE) in collaboration with Transforming Teacher Education and Learning (T-TEL).