UNESCO in partnership with the Ghana Education Service (GES), Centre for National Distance Learning and Open Schooling (CENDLOS) and Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) has launched a 3-day Emergency Remote Teaching (ERT) training for JHS and SHS teachers in the Greater Accra Region on Tuesday, 6 July 2021 at GNAT Regional Hall in Accra. This training will be replicated in the Ashanti, Northern and Western regions by August 2021. The ERT training is one of the activities being implemented under the UNESCO-Korea Funds in Trust (KFIT) Project.
The opening session was addressed by Mr Benjamin Gyasi (Chief Director, Ministry of Education), Mr Abdourahamane Diallo (UNESCO Country Director), Mrs Ama Serwah Nerquaye Tetteh (Secretary General, Ghana National Commission for UNESCO) and Mr Ransford Lolih (GNAT Greater Accra Regional Chairman). They all underscored the importance of enhancing the capacity of teacher in digital literacy as this will enable them effectively facilitate teaching and learning during normal times as well as during crises situations that result in school closures. In his speech, Mr Gyasi indicated that ICT in Education is a key strategy that has been captured in Ghana’s Education Strategic Plan (2018-2030) for achieving the SDG 4. He has therefore lauded the initiative by UNESCO through the KFIT Project to enhance the capacity of teachers. The training was organized in a hybrid format: a blend of in-person and virtual training for 100 teachers per session.
The training which brought teachers across all the districts in the Greater Accra took participants through practical sessions on creating online/virtual classrooms using Moodle and other Learning Management Platforms. Other topics included how to use ICT to support teaching and learning, Using ICT to support Assessment, Use of the internet for teaching, Using search engines to identify curriculum resources among others.
We started with the “knowing your device” training and from there I learnt to take my password seriously. I also learnt how to create a personal website and create courses on a learning management system.
-- Abigail Okang, Junior High School teacher from LEKMA ‘2’ Junior High School
Though the first training could only take 50 in person and 50 online participants because of COVID-19 and technical restrictions, over 900 teachers have expressed interest through the various online platforms.
This affirms the urgent need for government and other stakeholders to provide the requisite resources for the training of about 450,000 in-service teachers in leveraging ICT to improve teaching and learning in Ghana.
To achieve this there will be the need for continuous investment and improvement in existing ICT infrastructure (devices, network connectivity) provision of electricity, reduction in data cost for educational purposes among others.
The remaining 150 teachers are scheduled to be trained by the end of August 2021. The ERT Modules will however be hosted by CENDLOS till the end of the year and can be accessed by teachers online and their queries would be addressed through a Helpdesk designated for remediation and other learning support needs.
The ERT training is one of many initiatives under the KFIT Project: ICT in Education in Africa by which UNESCO is supporting the Government to enhance the capacity of teachers across the country to effectively facilitate teaching and learning during crises period such as being experienced under the COVID-19 pandemic. Other activities include the ongoing support for review of the Government’s ICT in Education policy and support to CENDLOS to establish a national Open Educational Resources (OER) platform to enable educators and learners to have unrestricted access to relevant educational resources to improve teaching and learning. These interventions are situated within UNESCO’s education sector support to the Member States, which predates the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this support has been scaled up through the Global Education Coalition initiative which UNESCO launched in March 2020 to mobilize support from the private sector, international bodies, and foundations for the Member States to ensure continuity of learning during and beyond the pandemic.
This training will be replicated in the Ashanti, Northern and Western regions by August 2021. The ERT training is one of the activities being implemented under the UNESCO-Korea Funds in Trust (KFIT) Project.