The Institute for Teacher Education and Continuing Professional Development (ITECPD), University of Education, Winneba (UEW), is enthralled on deepening mutual partnerships with mentors in the School Internship Programme (SIP), to groom the University’s student-teachers into world class professionals.
This came to light at the opening of a two-week training workshop for selected headteachers and mentors of SIP in the northern sector, who will serve as mentors for level 400 students embarking on internship in partner schools, at the Wadoma Royale Hotel, Abuakwa-Kumasi.
The workshop under the theme: “Training and Retraining Mentors for the School Internship Programme”, is intended to equip the selected headteachers and mentors with the philosophy and teaching standards required to mold the student-teachers on internship into professionals capable of functioning anywhere in the world.
Speaking at the opening of the workshop, the representative of the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Francis Owusu Mensah, who also is the Director, Institute of Distance Education and e-Learning (IDeL), iterated UEW’s commitment to running a model of teacher training based on copartnership between the University and colleague institutions (schools) where students are sent to practice. He hinted that the arrangement is coordinated by ITECPD.
Prof. Owusu Mensah, indicated that under the new model, student-teachers are sent to partner schools to understudy their assigned mentors and for the mentors to help nurture their mentees through the acquisition of all the technical teaching skills that are needed for the mentees to become effective professional teachers.
He averred that participants had not been brought to the workshop to be taught how to teach because they are already specialists in their own subject areas. “The good number of subject specialists we’ve brought from the University to this workshop are here to interact with you, so that you can appreciate what we do, what we expect of you, the philosophy and teaching standards underlining our training, for you to buy-in and to effectively support your mentoring of our student-teachers”, Prof. Owusu Mensah said.
The Director of ITECPD, Prof. George Dandy Dampson, in his address, stressed that the workshop was to professionally develop and upgrade the knowledge, skills and values of mentors in partner schools to effectively mentor student-teachers.
He reminded participants that the internship programme is a great way to apply knowledge from the classroom to real-world experiences, which is a great way to explore different career paths and specialisations that suit individual interests, and expressed ITECPD’s believe in participants and facilitators as the apt calibre of people to capture, comprehend and execute the vision to perfection.
He also urged participants to be active, dialogue, critique and help the facilitators refresh, sharpen and develop a comprehensive mentoring process that will stand the test of time. He encouraged them to explore, be analytical and contribute positively to achieve the purpose of the workshop.
Prof. Dampson, emphasized UEW’s commitment to strengthen, sustain and improve upon the collaboration established with partnership schools across the country.
Speaking on the 4-year Bachelor of Education Programme, the Dean, Faculty of Educational Studies, Prof. Samuel Abeiku Hayford, praised the transformation in teacher education, explaining that it will enable Ghanaian teachers compete with other teachers across the globe and also help turn around the fortunes of learners so that when they complete school, they will be able to function successfully in society.
He explained that periodic evaluation of curriculum lends itself to change which is critical to filling gaps and revision of practices to suit modern trends of development.
The workshop will be anchored by an array of subject specialists from the faculties of UEW.