Over the past fifty (50) years, teacher education in Ghana has undergone a number of modifications as a result of policy changes which were aimed at producing well trained teachers to meet the educational needs at various times.
These modifications resulted in the production of different cohort of teachers with different types of certificates (Anamuah-Mensah, 2006).
Colleges of Education, which were known as Teacher Training Colleges had until 2007 run various programmes such as: 2-year Post-Middle Certificate ‘B’; 4-year Post-Middle Certificate ‘A’ and 3-year Post Secondary Certificate ‘A’ programmes (Addo-Obeng, 2008) as well as Modular tailored form of training, all in the bid to prepare the right teachers to teach in our Basic Schools.
In 2004, following a comprehensive review of the educational system in Ghana, thirty-eight (38) Teacher Training Colleges were upgraded into Diploma-awarding institutions and affiliated to the University of Cape Coast (a teacher training University).
The Government absorbed eight more Colleges into the public sector, bringing the current number of public Colleges of Education to forty-six (46).
In 2014, the Government having reflected through stakeholders’ consultations realized that the Initial Teacher Education system in Ghana was not responding effectively to the changing need to improve the quality of teachers trained to address children’s declining learning outcomes in basic schools.
A six-year collaboration between the Ghana Government and UKAid was initiated. The project was launched in 2015 to commence a reform in the Colleges of Education in Ghana.
Transforming Teacher Education and Learning (T-TEL) Organisation was given the mandate to manage the reform. T-TEL began with a focus on raising the standards in the training of pre-service and in-service teachers and to kick-start institutional change in all Colleges of Education.
This bold step evolved into the Ministry of Education wanting to develop a new teacher training curriculum fit for the 21st century one that would ultimately give children the skills to think critically, solve problems and collaborate in groups.
The general feeling was that the diploma curriculum was too theoretical, focusing mainly on preparing children to pass examinations using rote learning and chalk-and talk methods.
It also failed to differentiate between children’s needs at primary and secondary education levels, and lacked professional prestige compared with university degrees, leading to high dropout rates.
As a result, a new teacher education curriculum framework that would provide trainee teachers with more practical, hands-on teaching experience in classrooms from the start of training courses and raise the standard of quality assurance and assessment in
Colleges of Education.
In fact, the Government of Ghana through the Ministry of Education saw an opportunity for ambitious structural reform throughout the teacher education system, which could achieve lasting change.
In 2018, Colleges of Education in Ghana went through a transition and were upgraded from a 3-year Diploma in Basic Education to a 4-year Bachelor of Education degree programme.
Programmes offered by Colleges of Education
The degree programme offers three main areas of specialization, which are:
1. Early Grade Education.
2. Primary Education.
3. Junior High School Education.