Do not train children to learning by force and harshness, but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.
P.O.Box AT 1486, Achimota, Accra, Ghana, West Africa.
Stakeholders in education on Tuesday said quality of education in the three Northern Regions could only be achieved if Civil Society identified specific challenges within the sector and helped to address such problems.
They agreed that such a move would help streamline and harmonize the support of Civil Society as well as ensure that a particular function was not over emphasized over equally important ones.
These concerns came up at a two-day learning festival on performance of schools in the three northern regions organized by Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) in Tamale on Tuesday.
The workshop was aimed at bringing together stakeholders of education including Circuit Supervisors, representative of Educational Directors, Head teachers, NGOs, Teachers and Parents to deliberate on how to improve on the quality education in the three regions.
The Coordinator of Tackling Educational Needs Inclusively (TENI) at VSO, Mr Eric Duorinaah, said the gathering was also to discuss the performance of pupils in the Basic Education Certificate Examination and the effects of teacher deployment.
Mr Duorinaah said quality education in the three northern regions would require a shift from the conventional ways of doing things to a systemic, joint action between the government and civil society.
“Unfortunately, as we move closer to 2015 which is the target for education for all, the statistics show that, while more children are in school the quality of education is consistently deteriorating each year,” he said.
According to Mr Duorinaah it was based on these convictions that VSO, an international development organisation, introduced TENI that sought to achieve a systemic change in basic education by improving transition and the completion and performance of disadvantaged children with emphasis on girls and those with disability in the three northern regions.
He said the project sought to reach out to 48,000 children and 25,000 community members in Talensi/Nabdam District in the Upper East region, Jirapa District in the Upper west Region and West Mamprusi District in the Northern Region.
Mr Duorinaah added that the initiative included the training of teachers on inclusive and child centered methodologies using international volunteers, the Universities and Colleges of education.
He said “at least 500 of these teachers have already been trained and they are applying the concepts in rural classrooms.”
Mr Duorinaah said “there was also a community empowerment program which involves the mobilization of community members, training in leadership, team building, conflict resolution and implementation of community action plans.”
Mr Nurudeen Abubakar, an Official from the Quality Assurance Office of the University for Development Studies, suggested that the quality of teaching and performance of children should be based on quality teacher-student interaction with the national standard serving as the yard stick.
Mr Abubakar said establishing districts and community libraries for students, regular visits of parents to children’s at schools were important.