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Ministry of Education

Ghana Education Service

Programme to Scale-Up Quality Kindergarten Education in Ghana

Narrative Report to Support the Operational Plan to Scale up Quality KG Education in Ghana

[FINAL VERSION]

November 2012 1


KG Scale-Up Operational Plan Team Margaret Okai, National Co-ordinator, Early Childhood Education (ECE) Unit of GES Madeez Adamu-Issah, Education Specialist, UNICEF, Ghana Pamela Torry, Senior Lecturer in Early Childhood, Sheffield Hallam University, UK Dominic Bond, Programme Director, Sabre Trust, UK Nick Parish, Programme Officer, Sabre Trust, UK Ivy Papps, Economist and Principal Researcher, Tecis Ltd, UK Aviva Ben Hefer, Early Childhood Education Specialist, MASHAV, Israel Janette Hirschman, Early Childhood Education Specialist, MASHAV, Israel Eloise Froment, VSO Volunteer, GES Tony Dogbe, Managing Director, Participatory Development Associates Ltd, Ghana

Consultants/Advisors Vivian Tackie-Fosu, Lecturer, Department of Family and Consumer Science, University of Ghana, Legon Wilson Kofi Agbeke, Senior Lecturer, University of Education, Winneba Kabira Namit, ODI Fellow, GES Eva Oberg, ODI Fellow, PBME, Ministry of Education

Situational and Stakeholders Analysis Reports Team Alero Ayida-Otobo, ESSPIN Emmanuel Appiah, Independent Consultant Hania Kamel, ECD Specialist Kate Martin, Cambridge Education

Co-ordinating Committee Cecilia Apronti , Director, Dept. of Community Development Charles Tsegah, Deputy Director, GES Chris Koramoah, Acting Financial Controller, GES Madeez Adamu-Issah, Education Specialist, UNICEF Margaret Okai, ECD Coordinator, GES Mariama Yahaya, Director, Department of Women and Children Palham Oyiye, Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) Salome Ntumy, ECD District Representative, Afram Plains Sego Moses, Director, Ghana Health Services Stephen Adu, Director, Basic Education Stephen Adongo, Director, Department of Social Welfare

High Level Steering Committee Members Ambassador Lee Ocran, Minister of Education Elizabeth Amoah Tetteh, Deputy Minister of Education, Pre-Tertiary Mahama Ayariga, Deputy Minister of Education, Tertiary Naana Biney, Director General, Ghana Education Service Charles Tsegah, Deputy Director, GES Stephen Adu, Director for Basic Education, GES Chris Koramoah, Financial Controller, MoE Dominic Pelore, Director for EMIS, MoE Emelia Aning, Director of PBME, Ministry of Education 2


M. S. Tara, Chief Director, Ghana Education Service Rachel Hinton, Programme Manager- Education, DFID

Technical Working Group 1: Teachers and Caregivers Professional Development Palmas Anyagre, Working Group Co-ordinator Evelyn Quartey-Papafio, Head, National Nursery Teachers Training Centre Jacob Molenaar, Teacher Education Division, GES, Team leader Janet Alemna, Ag.Deputy Director (HRMD), GES Lena Dzah, Ring Road East 2 KG, Kanda Cluster of Schools, class teacher Samuel Manteaw, Director, HRMD, GES

Technical Working Group 2: Curriculum, Pedagogy and Materials SalomeP. Otami, Working Group Co-ordinator Judith Sakara CRDD, GES, Team leader Sarah Agyeman-Duah, Director, CRDD, GES Victoria Osei, CRDD, GES Felicia Boakye-Yiadom, Head of Curriculum and Planning Unit, CRDD, GES Isaac Asiegbor, Head of Assessment Services Unit, CRDD, GES Vincent Adzahlie-Mensah, University of Education, Winneba

Technical Working Group 3: Access and Equity, Infrastructure and Learning Environment Karine Sahnouni, Working Group Co-ordinator Mawuli Segbefia, PBME-ICU/MoE, Team leader B. Kwao Adipa, CRDD, GES Doris Gyedu-Nuako, ECD Unit, GES

Technical Working Groups 4: Decentralized Planning, Integration and Community Involvement Susan Sabaa, Working Group Co-ordinator Daniel Budu-Asiedu, Director, GES, GA West, Team leader Josephine Kuffour-Duah, Dep. Director, Basic Education, GES Might Abreh, Lecturer, University of Cape Coast Vincent Ayim, College of Education, Akatsi

Technical Working Groups 5: Quality Assurance, Accreditation and Inspection Kafui Mills-Odoi, Working Group Co-ordinator Adeline Gaisie, Inspectorate, GES Mary Kwakye, Inspectorate, GES Seth Baiden, GES Development Institute, Saltpond,

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Acknowledgements In addition to the people listed in the previous pages, the development of the KG Scale-Up Operational Plan (OP) was possible through the efforts and commitment of many others, too many to list here. It is, however, important to acknowledge the contribution of a select few, without whose initiative and support the OP would not have come into being. Betty MouldIddrisu, the former Minister of Education initiated the idea of this project and gave it her full political backing. Her successor, Ambassador Lee Ocran, and the two Deputy Ministers, Elizabeth Amoah Tetteh and Mahama Ayariga, gave this project their high level political support. Also notable, is the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) which, together with the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), funded the development of the Plan. These organisations also provided technical support throughout the whole development process. Shikha Goyal and Peter Colenso of CIFF deserve a special mention as do Rachel Hinton, Enyonam Azumah and Nicole Goldstein all of DFID. The team would also like to recognise the support of Israel’s Agency for International Development Co-operation (MASHAV), which provided two Early Childhood Education Specialists during the development of the Plan. Finally, Madeez Adamu-Issah, Education Specialist at UNICEF deserves a special acknowledgement due to his tireless effort, commitment and contribution to the development of the Plan. He put at the disposal of the team, his rich experience and UNICEF’s years of support to the early childhood care and education in Ghana.

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Table of Contents Abbreviations .............................................................................................................................. 6 1.0 Introduction ........................................................................................................................... 8 2.0 Process for Arriving at Operational Plan Priorities.................................................................... 8 3.0 Defining a Ghanaian Pedagogy for Kindergarten .................................................................... 10 4.0 Overarching Considerations Relating to the Operational Plan ................................................. 14 4.1 Closing the Gap between Gross and Net Enrolment Rates in KG ..................................................... 14 4.2 Teacher Training as the Number One Priority for the Operational Plan. .......................................... 15 4.3 NALAP and TLMP Materials .............................................................................................................. 15 4.4 The Role of the Private Sector in KG Education ................................................................................ 16 4.5 Coordinating the Implementation of the Operational Plan .............................................................. 19 4.6 Measures to be taken for the Successful Implementation of the Operational Plan ......................... 20 4.7 Policy Considerations ........................................................................................................................ 21 5.0 Phase 1: Child Development, Teacher Training and Outcomes ................................................ 23 5.1 Child Development Milestones and Assessment .............................................................................. 24 5.2 A Joined-Up Approach to Pre-service and In-Service Teacher Training ............................................ 27 5.3 Monitoring and Evaluation of Outcomes .......................................................................................... 36 6.0 Phase 2: Infrastructure, INSET and branding .......................................................................... 37 6.1 Infrastructure Shortfall ...................................................................................................................... 37 6.2 Infrastructure Standards and Policies ............................................................................................... 38 6.3 Indoor and Outdoor Equipment........................................................................................................ 39 6.4 INSET Training for KG Teachers and Assistants .................................................................................. 39 6.5 Parents and Public Awareness to Promote KG - Branding ................................................................ 40 6.6 Learning Materials and Resources .................................................................................................... 41 6.7 Establish National KG Standards ....................................................................................................... 41 7.0 Phase 3: Curriculum, Special Needs, and Quality Assurance ................................................... 42 8.0 Conclusion ........................................................................................................................... 43 Appendices ................................................................................................................................ 45

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Report for Operational Plan to Scale up Quality KG Education in Ghana

Abbreviations AESOP ASQ CBI CIFF CoE CPD CRDD CS CSO DEO DEOC DFID ECCE ECD ECERS EMIS ESAR ESP FCUBE FTT GER GES GNAT GNECC GoG GPE GSS GPI INSET JHS KC KG MDE MDG MoE MOH MOWAC MPT M&E NESAR NER NGO NIB NALAP OP PDA PPVT PTA 6

Annual Education Sector Operational Plan Ages and Stages Questionnaire Cluster based In-Service Training Children’s Investment Fund Foundation Colleges of Education Continuous Professional Development Curriculum, Research and Development Division Circuit Supervisors Civil Society Organisation District Education Office District Education Oversight Committee Department for International Development Early Childhood Care and Education Early Childhood Development Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale Educational Management Information System Education Sector Annual Review Education Strategic Plan Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education Fast Track and Transformational [Program] Gross Enrolment Ratio Ghana Education Service Ghana National Association of Teachers Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition Government of Ghana Global Partnership for Education Ghana Statistical Service Gender Parity Index In-Service Education and Training Junior High School Kindergarten Coordinator Kindergarten Metro Directorate of Education Millennium Development Goal Ministry of Education Ministry of Health Ministry of Women and Children Affairs Mass Participation Transformational [Training] Monitoring and Evaluation National Education Sector Annual Review Net Enrolment Rate Non-Governmental Organization National Inspectorate Board National Literacy Accelerated Program Operational Plan Participatory Development Associates Ltd Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test Parent Teacher Association


Report for Operational Plan to Scale up Quality KG Education in Ghana PTR PCR PTTR SABER SBI SHS SMC SPIP TED TLMP UCC UEW UNICEF

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Pupil-Teacher Ratio Pupil-Classroom Ratio Pupil-Trained Teacher Ratio Systems Approach for Better Education Results School-based In-Service Training Senior High School School Management Committee School Performance Improvement Plan Teacher Education Division Teaching and Learning Materials Programme University of Cape Coast University of Education, Winneba United Nations Children’s Fund


Report for Operational Plan to Scale up Quality KG Education in Ghana

1.0 Introduction ‘Ghana has gained a reputation for making great strides in Early Childhood Education in comparison to other African countries. The high enrolment rates at kindergarten level (KG) are frequently cited as evidence for this. This reputation is well deserved, but there are still significant challenges facing the Ghana Education Service (GES) in scaling up quality kindergarten education nationwide’ [Stakeholder Analysis Report pg. 1]. In line with the recommendations of the Dakar World Forum for Education and also with the Millennium Development Goals, the Government of Ghana mainstreamed kindergarten into basic education, and through the Education Strategic Plan (ESP) 2010-2020, has prioritised expanding and improving comprehensive early childhood care and education (ECCE). To carry out this commitment, the Ghana Education Service (GES) in July 2011 embarked on a process to develop an Operational Plan to scale up quality KG education. This process was undertaken in two phases. In the first phase, GES undertook a review of the kindergarten sector, with international consultant support from Cambridge Education Consultancy, completing a situational and stakeholder analysis. This work identified a number of emerging local approaches to meet key challenges facing the sector. In the second phase, through a number of workshops, stakeholder consultations and high level meetings, and building on the previous analysis, Participatory Development Associates (PDA) facilitated two key deliverables, which have culminated in GES developing a 5-year operational plan to scale up quality kindergarten education in Ghana. The deliverables are as follows;

(1) Identify key KG programme outcomes, priorities and components: Facilitate strong engagement between technical working groups, DFID, CIFF, GES, and international and national experts to identify programme outcomes, priorities and components and use international best practice as the benchmark.

(2) A Five year evidence-based Operational Plan (OP) to support scaling up of national quality KG education: Develop a fully costed operational plan validated by GES and Government of Ghana. Present OP as a package of critical investments and priorities (based on previous deliverable) that are individually costed. Develop scenarios based on expected outcomes of specific investments and associated funding requirements from GoG and donor partners. The format of the OP should be such that it can be easily integrated into GoG policy, planning and budgeting processes (including the ESP, AESOP and the Annual Budget presentation to Parliament). The Operational Plan should include a 20-30 page narrative (this report) accompanied by a five-year budget.

2.0 Process for Arriving at Operational Plan Priorities Creating an operational plan to scale up quality KG education in Ghana has been a 14-month participatory and collaborative process. This process included a number of stakeholders - the private and public sectors, national and international experts, development partners, technical divisions of the Ghana Education Service - and also encouraged active leadership by government. Through the 8


Report for Operational Plan to Scale up Quality KG Education in Ghana stakeholders and situational reports, where the baseline for Ghana’s KG education was defined (see summary in appendix 1), a broad framework (see appendix 2) laying out strategic steps for scaling up quality Kindergarten nationwide, has been developed. Via a series of objective led meetings, key stakeholders have identified and prioritised three vital strategic goals: Access, Quality and Outcomes. Twelve components were determined to be essential to achieve these goals, and consensus at the third high level KG Operational Plan steering committee meeting was that the priority for the Operation Plan be given to teacher training and independent monitoring of the outcomes of the programme.

It was agreed that regardless of limited resources and inadequate infrastructure, the right teacher can transform the Kindergarten class and learning outcomes of the children in his/her care. The right teacher is one who understands the specific needs of early childhood, who is confident in childcentred methodologies and child-initiated learning, as well as the learning objectives to be achieved. The right teacher is one who adopts strategies to engage the full participation of parents in their children's development, as described in Ghana's ECCD Policy 2004. The Ministry of Education (MoE) and the Ghana Education Service (GES) saw the development of this operational plan as an opportunity for a comprehensive review of imperatives for the scaling up of quality KG education in Ghana, and for that reason wanted a long-term operational framework from which a 5-year plan could be developed and costed. In order to implement the plan in both the short and long terms, there was a recognition of the need to acquire additional Government of Ghana (GoG) funding through MoE to validate the Ministry’s support of Kindergarten Education, as well as make use of known funding opportunities and possible funding partners such as the Global 9


Report for Operational Plan to Scale up Quality KG Education in Ghana Partnership for Education (GPE), UNICEF, DFID and CIFF. To this end, the operational plan has three implementation phases; Phase 1:

Focus on teacher training, pedagogy and parental involvement as well as the independent monitoring and evaluation of the operational plan outcomes

Phase 2:

Focus on infrastructure, learning materials and resources, and public awareness.

Phase 3:

Focus on reviewing curriculum, inspection, internal monitoring and evaluation, development of PTAs/governing bodies and strengthening Special Educational Needs support

It should be noted that these phases are not on a strictly sequential basis and a degree of overlap is anticipated. Sections 5, 6 and 7 explore each of these phases in more detail.

3.0 Defining a Ghanaian Pedagogy for Kindergarten Ghanaian children at play often demonstrate enormous energy, a sense of joy and wellbeing and an enviable set of skills and attitudes. They are curious, creative and resourceful explorers inventing games by collaborating with their friends and making toys from anything they find. They concentrate for lengthy periods of time when interested and actively engaged. It is such qualities as these that should be nurtured and developed in an effective kindergarten education which includes but goes far beyond the teaching of colours, shapes, numbers and letters. As appendix 1 identifies, despite the great strides Ghana has made in recognising the value and importance of early years education, the delivery of kindergarten education remains entrenched in a rote learning style, which is neither child-centred nor activity-based. Teacher pedagogical practice typically shows a lack of understanding as to how children should learn and how teachers should teach. The pioneering work of Vygotsky, Piaget, Montessori, Froebel and many others have challenged us to think beyond teaching to learning and beyond learning to the learner. In order to define and deliver a new Ghanaian pedagogy for kindergarten, GES management and teachers should look to a learning and learner centered approach. Every Ghanaian child is a unique individual who develops and learns in diverse ways and at various rates in different competencies. Effective teachers have a sound understanding of child development and know that children’s progress through different developmental stages and milestones are affected by many factors including health, the home environment, early attachment, parental engagement and so on. It is essential to reconsider the pedagogical approach regarding the delivery of the KG curriculum, if child-centredness is to be embraced. In addition to defining ‘what’ is to be taught, the questions ‘why’ ‘when’ and ‘how’ that teaching happens must also be answered. This should help establish a clear rationale for the move from the prevalent, passive, rote learning model of delivery to an active, experiential style. ‘Research into Effective Pedagogy in Early Years’ (Siraj-Blatchfird et al, 2002) suggests that children learn best through a balance of teacher-directed and child-initiated learning experiences. Teacher directed approaches can include structured programmes such as NALAP whilst child-initiated 10


Report for Operational Plan to Scale up Quality KG Education in Ghana learning takes place most effectively when adults tune into the child’s interests and thinking during freely chosen activities within instructive and enabling learning environments. The quality of verbal interactions, including open questions, is crucial to maximize the cognitive development that takes place in such episodes. In addition, a child’s attitudes, skills and dispositions towards learning need nurturing if they are to reach their full potential in Kindergarten and as citizens of Ghana. Effective pedagogy involves much more than teaching methodology. The development of an enabling and instructive environment, supportive relationships between teachers, children and parents, quality interactions and a holistic view of child development contribute to the pedagogical framework and foundation. As such, pedagogy is not easily defined and must become the subject of regular professional dialogue between reflective teachers, parents and communities. It must be subject to continual improvement, informed by research, and applied to Ghanaian values, vision and culture. The new pedagogy also has implications for instruction at the primary school level. Children experiencing active teaching and learning techniques in KG may not perform well in primary school if they simply face rote learning methods. In order to maintain and even enhance the communication, creative thinking, reasoning and problem solving skills that they acquired in KG, the whole Ghanaian education system needs to work towards fostering and building upon these initial skills in order to foster a future generation of Ghanaian citizens who can actively participate in transforming the world in which we live. In the process of developing the Operational Plan, the following have emerged as the underlying principles for Ghana’s Kindergarten Education: The aspiration is for all kindergartens to have; 1. A high quality, happy, healthy, caring and safe learning environment free from physical punishment. 2. A curriculum and environment that enables all four and five year olds to explore, discover and to ask questions about the world around them whether it be in or outside the classroom. 3. An outdoor learning environment/space which ensures learning is not constrained to the classroom. 4. Easily accessible teaching and learning materials which make use of local craftsmen and women and encourage creative play. 5. Specially trained teachers/educators skilled in early years education and adept at delivering a play and activity based learning curriculum, which is motivating, enjoyable and engaging. 6. Teachers/educators who are able to assess all four and five year olds holistically, focusing on social/emotional, physical, communication/language, and cognitive development as a foundation for future academic achievement. 7. Teachers/educators who challenge all four and five year olds to be the best that they can be and encourage successful and responsible citizens for the future. 11


Report for Operational Plan to Scale up Quality KG Education in Ghana 8. Parental participation valued and encouraged through regular information sharing about activity-based learning and about each child’s interests, development and progress. 9. Continuous professional development for all teachers/educators and trained KG assistants supporting kindergarten learning. 10. A robust internal and external monitoring and evaluation system which encourages a process of continual improvement and recognises the need for all stakeholders to learn from experience. 11. Relationships with stakeholders and the wider community who are responsive and respectful of all children’s and families’ needs and who appreciate the value and importance of KG education. 12. All Kindergarten settings to instill a sense of pride in the heritage and culture of the community through the use of the local language and appropriate resources and learning materials. This vision for quality kindergarten education in Ghana is illustrated by the following images:

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Report for Operational Plan to Scale up Quality KG Education in Ghana

A creative, childcentred approach to learning which is engaging and enjoyable

Positive relationships with parents and the wider community who appreciate the value and importance of KG education.

Safe, happy and healthy indoor and outdoor learning spaces free from physical punishment

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A KG CHILD Encouraged to be the best that he/she can be and to be a successful and responsible citizen for the future.

Figure 1: Vision for KG: Quality education for all KG children in Ghana

in Ghana

Well-trained caring teachers and teaching assistants who promote childinitiated exploration and discovery

Resources and materials which support the curriculum and learning approach


Report for Operational Plan to Scale up Quality KG Education in Ghana

4.0 Overarching Considerations Relating to the Operational Plan For the successful implementation of the operational plan, certain operational and policy issues have been identified for the immediate consideration of the management of GES and MoE.

4.1 Closing the Gap between Gross and Net Enrolment Rates in KG Results from the 2010-11 EMIS report show that the Gross Enrolment Rate for KG in Ghana is 98.4% while the Net Enrolment Rate is only 60.1%. This large discrepancy is a result of the fact that out of a total enrolment of 1,491,450 children in KG, only 911,305 of these children are aged four and five. In other words, over half a million children (39% of the total) enrolled in KG in Ghana are not of KG age. Other information from EMIS suggests that most of these children are above KG age. The large discrepancy between GER and NER has raised some important policy implications; 1. Almost 40% of children in KG classes are not of the right age. The overall objective of the scalingup of quality KG in Ghana is to ensure that four- and five-year olds receive quality education, appropriate to their age. Thus, as the quality of KG improves, the existence of older children in KG classrooms is likely to be unsettling for the four and five-year olds. Moreover, the older children will be less likely to receive an education appropriate to their age. On both counts, the scaling-up of quality will deliver less for children in KG classrooms than it would without the discrepancy between NER and GER. 2. Should the large number of overage pupils in KG remain, it will raise the cost of catch-up training for existing KG teachers because more teachers are required to deliver the required pupil teacher ratio. 3. If bringing more four and five year olds into KG whilst at the same time moving the over fives on to primary and under fours out to nursery can be addressed simultaneously, then the actual gross enrolment figures should stay fairly static (2011 KG enrolment = 1,491,450 & estimated four and five year old population = 1,516,090). In this scenario GES would just be correcting the age of children in the classrooms and the need to train a high volume of teachers remains. 4. A movement of children into primary schools will have an impact on pupil-teacher ratios and pupil-classroom ratios in primary schools. The need to implement widespread catch up classes for the over fives who have been taken out of KG or have missed KG would also be necessary, though there are some good models for this in place (TCAI & School for Life). 5. A movement of children out of KG who are under four years of age will have an impact on the provision of nursery places and requires cross ministry collaboration. The Minister of Education, in his address at the third Steering Committee meeting of the Operational Plan for KG Scale-Up, spoke of his delight that KG was a focus for the government but requested that all working on the plan remember that the education of children starts even before KG, and that the group of children aged 0-3 should not be forgotten. Given that this group is a part of the cohort we need to tackle in order to get clear costing numbers, discussions need to take place in phase one to ensure they can be accounted for. With this in mind an additional objective, ‘Over and under age children in KG placed in age appropriate formal and informal community and education settings’ has been prioritised for phase 1 implementation (see phase 1 objective 1.2). It was recognised that meeting the needs of the 0 to 3 year olds would need to involve other ministries such as the 14


Report for Operational Plan to Scale up Quality KG Education in Ghana Ministry of Women and Children Affairs (MOWAC), the Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare. For this reason, an activity in the plan is to initiate dialogue on this issue with these ministries and with the objective of establishing an interministerial committee. One of the principal goals of the Operational Plan must be to get as many four and five year olds into KG as possible, and simultaneously deal with the problem of over and under age children. If not carefully managed, GES could face a situation where gross enrolment rate increases to +100% by bringing in more four and five year olds and at the same time retaining over and under age children. In order to address the catch-up classes required for the overage pupils who move out of KG into the appropriate age Primary school class, or those children who start school straight into Primary classes, the government should consider rolling out a proven model of catch up support such as that provided by the Teacher Community Assistant Initiative (TCAI). Whilst the delivery of such support in the primary school system falls outside of the direct remit of this Kindergarten Operational Plan, any efforts by GES to implement a policy of only enrolling four year olds in KG 1 and five year olds in KG 2 will require significant measures in the primary schools to accommodate those over age children moved on by the policy. The costing work conducted for the KG Operational Plan has estimated that an additional GHC 234,000,000 (Two Hundred and Thirty-Four Million Ghana Cedis) will need to be budgeted for the roll out of a TCAI style programme alongside the efforts to scale up quality kindergarten education nationwide.

4.2 Teacher Training as the Number One Priority for the Operational Plan. The focus of two key components of the broad Operational Plan framework changed significantly during the prioritisation process. It became clear that for the short term, no review of the current curriculum was needed as it was considered by the national and international experts as fundamentally sound and had the ability to enable teachers to teach using the active, child centred/initiated approach. Research shows that child-centred and activity-based learning at the KG stage of education is essential for children to reach their full academic potential in later phases of education. Questions surfaced during discussions on the curriculum: Why is this method not being implemented? How can the teacher deliver such an approach whilst applying the appropriate KG pedagogy? This led to the recognition of the need to train all existing and future KG teachers in the appropriate pedagogy and practice. Training/orientation of KG Coordinators, Circuit Supervisors, head teachers and key district staff must cover these elements as well. It will be essential to the success of the new approach for all personnel to understand the underlying pedagogy and expectations being placed on teachers. These training/orientation sessions need to be held around the same time at district level and should be coordinated by the Teacher Education Division (TED) with guidance from the Early Childhood Education (ECE) Unit of GES Headquarters.

4.3 NALAP and TLMP Materials A vital element identified in the original broad set of the Operational Plan components was the review and merging of NALAP and TLMP into a single approach to provide a set of sustainable resources to support delivery with regard to the new KG vision. However, when it came to prioritisation, this integral part was taken out because this work was already underway within GES as the plan was being compiled. The NALAP materials rightly focus on the child's mother tongue (or 15


Report for Operational Plan to Scale up Quality KG Education in Ghana local language) and it provides a culturally appropriate resource for the teaching of reading and literacy. It was believed this could be enhanced and developed for those children for whom the language was too elementary, in order to provide a richer experience of story and creative use of language. When very specific materials are provided there is a natural tendency for teachers to use them rigidly rather than follow the spirit of the idea. It was suggested that the question of how we can better use the current NALAP books to complement the improved curriculum delivery model be raised with the NALAP team and incorporated into the training of current KG teachers and within the pre-service training. Teachers should also be encouraged to write their own stories; and Senior High School (SHS) students be given the opportunity to illustrate books. For the above reasons, if there are plans to reprint NALAP and TLMP materials, they should be reviewed before printing is done. Further, when considering KG materials and resources, there is the need to think beyond just TLMP and NALAP. Both district and school leadership should be oriented to recognise the need to make funding available to buy a range of materials with which the child can engage, including role play items, games, building blocks and other construction objects, books, paints etc., along with materials to make new games. The printing of documents should be minimal. The majority should be put on the GES website. This should not only pertain to NALAP and TLMP, but all documents and materials relating to KG. This will enable all important documents to be in one place and accessible to all appropriate personnel and stakeholders – both public and private – and also lower cost. Two suggestions for reducing curriculum documentation are; 1. A poster (one each for KG1 and KG2 or one per school term) would be a useful alternative to a thick book. The posters could cover aspects of the curriculum (and/or child development), and be displayed for all to see daily, including parents. 2. A GES kindergarten ring binder. Elements of the curriculum could be added each term during training sessions with clear targets and expectations concerning implementation. As each school achieves one element then the next would be added. This approach could form a quality assurance scheme with an accreditation at the completion of each stage. It would also mean that training materials and curriculum notes would be identical thus reducing printing costs. These ideas should be revisited and considered further when the curriculum is reviewed in phase 3 of the operational plan.

4.4 The Role of the Private Sector in KG Education In some regions of Ghana, private sector kindergartens are well established, and make up a sizeable section of the enrolment and teacher population. Traditionally, GES accredits and licenses private kindergartens; however in regions where there is a large private sector presence, there could be benefits from adopting a more collaborative approach. Data from EMIS indicates that private sector kindergartens typically have better infrastructure than public schools, but suffer from a shortage of trained teachers. (See table below) Indicator

Public

Private

Kindergarten Schools

13,263

5,538

16


Report for Operational Plan to Scale up Quality KG Education in Ghana Schools with toilets (%)

49%

72%

Schools with drinking water (%)

81%

83%

Classrooms in need of major repairs (%)

28%

7%

Teacher population

31,595

9,889

Trained teachers (%)

38.8%

6.7%

Pupil-Trained Teacher Ratio (PTTR)

96:1

471:1

Figure 2: (source EMIS 2011) The following table highlights the relative size and market share of the KG private sector across Ghana’s ten regions. Region

No. of Private Schools

PS as % of all schools

Enroll. in Private Schools

PS enroll. as % of total enroll.

No. of teachers in Private Schools

PS teachers as % of total

No. of untrained teachers in PS

Ashanti

1,195

36.6%

76,527

28.5%

2,277

27.1%

2,114

Brong Ahafo

444

22.4%

29,981

16.4%

883

16.3%

847

Central

877

39.4%

45,522

28.6%

1,595

34.6%

1,493

Eastern

664

28.1%

32,284

19.7%

1,034

19.6%

951

Greater Accra

1,100

64.0%

50,431

42.3%

1943

45.8%

1,756

Northern

202

10.9%

12,375

7.5%

386

11.8%

368

Upper East

80

11.2%

10,181

14.0%

143

10.6%

137

Upper West

37

6.7%

2,733

5.5%

113

9.7%

102

Volta

383

18.8%

16,750

12.8%

576

16.3%

552

Western

556

26.5%

33,906

18.4%

939

22.2%

909

Figure 3: (source EMIS 2011) In three of the regions (Ashanti, Central & Greater Accra) private sector kindergartens account for over a third of all KG schools. In Greater Accra in particular, almost two in every three KG schools, are privately run. Enrolment in private sector schools account for a proportionately smaller share of total enrolments. This results in these schools having smaller class sizes. The combination of fewer pupils per class and the better standard of infrastructure, facilities and resources, are likely to be factors that sway parents towards the private sector, regardless of the quality of teaching from a predominantly untrained cohort of teachers. 17


Report for Operational Plan to Scale up Quality KG Education in Ghana Where the private sector is well established, the high numbers of untrained teachers in private schools offer an opportunity for GES to offer paid places in government teacher training schemes, which might also help cover some of the costs of training public school teachers. Experience from other countries suggests that the private sector can also offer an alternative to investment in government service provision in the form of subsidies or childcare voucher schemes. If parents are offered a financial contribution towards the cost of private KG fees, or those fees are subsidised at source, it could create sufficient demand for private school places to allow a private sector to emerge in the regions where it does not currently exist, or to take on a larger percentage of enrolments in well-established areas. However, such a scheme would require strong administrative procedures to be in place, and would only be worth consideration if it represented a significant national strategy. In addition to direct provision of early childhood education, there is potential for private sector involvement in the training of teachers and assistants, in the long term. The Stakeholder Analysis Report identified two Accra-based private schools that also offer formal training programmes accredited by respected bodies. In collaboration with the University of Education at Winneba, May’s Day Care & Educational Centre offers Certificate and Diploma studies in Early Childhood Education, and provides full-time pre-service training. The Ghana Montessori International Teacher Trainers Centre attached to the Little Explorers School also offers certificate and diploma qualifications in the Montessori methodology, accredited by the Montessori International Centre in the UK. According to the report, it is not currently known how many similar private institutions exist with the capacity to train teachers, and the existence of such parallel schemes could create difficulties for GES in determining which qualifications are acceptable for government-employed teachers, and in ensuring consistency of training provided outside of the national network of tertiary institutions. The model of private sector involvement in teacher training is one that is relatively unexplored and considering the challenge of responding to the significant training needs of KG teachers and assistants in Ghana, this should be given urgent consideration. The capacity in which the private sector participates notwithstanding, it relieves the burden of service provision on GES, and an effort to engage with the private sector on a much larger scale should be encouraged and supported, through sharing policy frameworks, and tools such as pupil and teacher assessments. The regulatory role remains important – GES has an obligation to ensure that the private sector providers it licenses deliver a standard of education at least equivalent to that of public schools.

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Report for Operational Plan to Scale up Quality KG Education in Ghana May’s Day Care and Educational Centre: An Example of Private Sector Contribution to ECE in Ghana May’s Day Care and Educational Centre has been in operation in Dansoman, a suburb of Accra, since 1989 and is certified by the Department of Social Welfare. It has adopted the Integrated Approach of Thematic Learning, which involves integrating all subject areas together under one theme, crosses over subject lines and helps children relate basic academic skills to real-world ideas. It has also adopted the Play-Way method which stems from the idea that play is an essential part of any highquality early learning program. May’s Day Care also runs programmes for parents (both those who have children in the school and those who don’t) on early childhood care and development. At the weekend, it organizes a programme called, ‘Children of the World Society’, which focuses on socialization and every day activities. It also maintains links with the National Association for Educators of Young Children (USA) of which the Director of the Centre is a member. To contribute to quality early childhood education in Ghana, the Centre opened its Pre-school Caregiver Training Department in 1999 and since then it has trained and graduated 247 caregivers in a one-year long training programme in Early Childhood Care and Development. In addition, the Centre engages in other forms of training which are customized and delivered upon request. It has a strong relationship with the Ghana Education Service. For instance in 2011, over a two week period, the Centre trained 150 educators in ‘Best Practices Required of an Early Childhood Care and Development Practitioner’, a programme sponsored by UNICEF and coordinated by the GES.

UCC Students on Exposure Visit to May’s (Source: May’s Day Care and Education Centre)

4.5 Coordinating the Implementation of the Operational Plan For the implementation of the operational plan to be a success, there is a need to adequately resource the Early Childhood Education (ECE) unit, within the Ghana Education Service, to oversee and coordinate the implementation of the plan. Currently, the unit is severely under-resourced, and additional technical assistance provided to it during the development of the Operational Plan, has shown the benefits of the added capacity. The coordinator role would involve the following: 1) Coordinating those funding each element of the plan, 2) Coordinating the divisions of GES and liaising with MoE, 3) Determining when each activity 19


Report for Operational Plan to Scale up Quality KG Education in Ghana should start, 4) Maintain project documentation - collating reports/meeting outcomes which may feed into additional aspects of the plan, (5) Monitor and manage the project schedule, budget and risks, (6) Negotiate and resolve issues as they arise across areas of the project and where they impact on other activities, systems and projects, (7) Prepare project status reports and project change requests for the management of GES; among others. It is a crucial role, which, when done well, should facilitate the successful execution of the Operational Plan. To play this role effectively, the coordinator must be given support and authority by senior management. Without an individual or team with an overall view of and responsible for the plan’s implementation, Ghana could end up with, at best, a poorly and partially implemented plan or at worst, no implementation of the activities and outcomes stakeholders have worked so hard to put together. At the regional and district levels, there will be the need for the capacity building of the network of KG Co-ordinators in order to achieve desired results, in both the public and private sectors, across the country. In this regard, there is a pressing need, before the implementation of the operational plan, to strengthen the Early Childhood Education Unit of GES and make it responsible for coordinating the implementation of the operational plan.

4.6 Measures to be taken for the Successful Implementation of the Operational Plan The following should be secured by GES/MoE to ensure a strong foundation, for which the activities and funding contained in the OP can be implemented:

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Develop clear roles and responsibilities for the Circuit Supervisor (CS), Kindergarten Coordinator (KC), KG Teacher and KG Teaching Assistant in order to enable effective on-going monitoring and support for kindergarten. Job descriptions need to be explicit; this may involve the revising of current roles and responsibilities. Supervision and monitoring responsibilities and the process for follow-up must be clear.

Commit to a standard number of paid days training per year for kindergarten staff.

Ensure that kindergarten teachers have the opportunity to meet with other kindergarten teachers at kindergarten specific cluster-based INSET (CBI), rather than following the CBI programme with their primary school. School-based INSET (SBI) should be with the primary school as usual.

Enable students that apply to study ECE to have preference in the admissions process at Colleges of Education (CoEs).

Require kindergarten teacher qualifications be linked to professional standards already developed, to ensure quality teachers.

Investment in ‘District Resource Centres’ where teachers can make their own TLMs and where other members of the community can access the centres’ resources. These centres can be self-funding and manned (an example from Lawra, Upper West Region). The viability of self-funding centres may be possible in more rural/semi-rural areas where access to photocopiers/computers/printers etc. for teachers and the general public is more sporadic. If resources can be competitively priced, and manned centres simply ‘break even’ there may be opportunities for successful learning Resource Centres in more urban areas. There is a


Report for Operational Plan to Scale up Quality KG Education in Ghana move for the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) to invest in resource centres in each district, which would be attached to their district office, for the express use by teachers. GES must seek collaboration with GNAT on this as the latter has a good track record in providing services for its members, which is cross-subsidised by the public, thus ensuring sustainability.

4.7 Policy Considerations Apart from the above measures and actions that need to be taken for the successful implementation of the operational plan, there are other policy measures that need immediate attention. (i) The first Priority policy consideration for government is the funding for the KG sector as a whole and the Operational Plan in particular. To undertake a comprehensive national scaling-up of quality KG and an overhaul of the KG sector, as proposed in this operational plan, will cost a minimum of GHS 822,893,665 (Eight Hundred and Twenty-two Million, Eight Hundred and Ninety-three Thousand, Six Hundred and Sixty-Five Ghana Cedis). According to the government’s own Education Strategic Plan (ESP), 2010-2020, funding to KG has declined from 7.4% in 2002 to 3.4% in 2005 and 20081. From EMIS data, this has further fallen to 2.8% in 2010 and increased marginally in 2011 to 2.90. The funding target to the KG sector in the ESP is 5.7% by 2015. If the allocation to KG remains constant over the next three years at 2.9% (a conservative assumption given that historically it has been falling), the funding gap between the projected allocation and the target allocation (to reach 5.7% by 2015) will rise over the next four years. Based on the projected resource envelope for the education sector for 2012 to 2014, provided by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MoFEP) in the Budget Statement of 2012, the projected funding gap will rise from Gh¢63m in 2012 to Gh¢103m in 20142. For the successful implementation of this OP, government must at the minimum increase funding to the sector to the target set in the ESP. By this it will signal its commitment to the sector and by its lead, encourage donors to commit funding. (ii) If the implementation of the Operational Plan is to be a success, there is a need to adequately resource the Early Childhood Education (ECE) Unit, within the Ghana Education Service, to oversee and coordinate the implementation of the plan. Currently, the unit is severely under-resourced, and additional technical assistance provided to it during the development of the Operational Plan, has

1

Education Strategic Plan, 2010-2020, Table 1.3.1

2

MoFEP will not release the projected resource envelope for 2015 until early 2013 in the 2013 Budget Statement for the MTEF period 2013-15 and thus the funding gap is projected only up to 2014.

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Report for Operational Plan to Scale up Quality KG Education in Ghana shown the benefits of the added capacity. Without an individual or team with an overall view of and responsible for the plan’s implementation, Ghana could end up with, at best, a poorly and partially implemented plan or at worst, no implementation of the activities and outcomes stakeholders have worked so hard to put together. The resources needed by the ECE Unit have been duly costed in the plan. In addition to the above priority policy considerations, there are major policies in the Operational Plan that government must approve for implementation. These are: (iii) A commitment by GES/MOE to expand ECE accredited Colleges of Education from the current seven to at least nineteen so that there is a minimum of one in every region. This is critical for institutionalizing and increasing the number of new teachers who are trained in the new pedagogy. (iv) The large discrepancy between GER and NER which, as indicated above, has important policy implications, must be addressed. Most pressing amongst these is the need to ensure that only the correct age children are enrolled for KG1 (4 year olds) and KG2 (5 year olds), strong leadership will be required at all levels to effect this change. (v) For the existing untrained teachers, the one year in-service course proposed in the OP could go with the award of a Certificate in Early Childhood Education and an increase in salary as motivation and for retaining them in the public sector. If successful, consideration be given to a reduction in the number of years used in training a KG teacher from the current three years to two. (vi) Similarly, to retain and motivate KG Assistants who will be trained, they must, as a matter of policy, be put on GES salary scale with some marginal increase in what they currently earn. (vii) To set realistic and viable targets for pupil-classroom and pupil-teacher ratios at the kindergarten level. It is recommended that a maximum of 40 children per class should be the immediate target for KG1 and KG2, with every class having a minimum of one trained KG teacher and one teaching assistant. There will be the need to develop a policy plan as to how to reach these targets, beyond the period of this Operational Plan. However, there are some policy options that have political or financial implications, so they could be considered and taken forward as part of the Op Plan (if so, requiring a revised Operational Plan), or to be tackled at a later date. These are: (viii) The need to close the gap between gross and net enrollment rates in KG, taking into consideration the role of the private sector in the provision of early childhood education. In this regard, in the districts where there is a strong and well-established private sector, GES should consider promoting voucher schemes to support and bolster private sector provision, as long as it is satisfied that national standards are being adhered to. (ix) As stated earlier, to undertake a comprehensive national scaling-up of quality KG and an overhaul of the KG sector, as proposed in this operational plan, would cost a minimum of GHS 822,893,665 (Eight Hundred and Twenty-two Million, Eight Hundred and Ninety-three Thousand, Six Hundred and Sixty-Five Ghana Cedis). This can be reduced if consideration could be given to allowing some flexibility about combining facility-based models with less expensive community-based models, especially where the primary school is some distance away for the children at that age to walk to. 22


Report for Operational Plan to Scale up Quality KG Education in Ghana (x) Finally, considering the critical role KG plays as laying the foundation for a child’s education, there is the urgent need to position it highly within GES by raising its profile and status. To assist in doing this, GES/MOE could establish a working group made up of government representatives and prominent educationists in the private and civil society sectors to advocate for KG. This should be accompanied by effective public relations and communication strategy.

5.0 Phase 1: Child Development, Teacher Training and Outcomes The Operational Plan has been arranged in such a way as to enable the Ministry of Education (MoE) and the Ghana Education Service (GES) to seek additional funding partners/investors to engage at different points of the implementation process and support a particular area of interest that possibly goes beyond 5 years. In this regard, the leadership of MoE and GES has requested that every item of the plan be costed so that potential partners/investors can see the broad view.

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Report for Operational Plan to Scale up Quality KG Education in Ghana

5.1 Child Development Milestones and Assessment A fundamental part of the Operational Plan is the development of a key document detailing Child Development Milestones. This will simplify the existing one developed by GES with UNICEF support in order to make it more manageable, progressive and accessible to parents. To bring clarity to this subject, especially for those not familiar with early childhood development, this has been explained in more detail than is usual for an operational plan. The Child Development Milestone document will have three functions for teachers; 

It will support their understanding of a ‘holistic’ approach to KG education and define progression in a number of developmental areas: cognitive, communication and language, physical and social/emotional.

It will support the planning of appropriate activities closely linked to the KG curriculum and the identification of next steps in children’s learning

It will provide a framework for the formative and summative assessment of children’s progress.

Formative assessment is informal and on-going. Teachers will assess children by observing play, analysing work done, discussing the children’s ideas and interacting with them in one-on-one and group situations. They will use these informal means to discover each child’s interests and learning style and review their progress towards the development milestones. This knowledge of the children will enable teachers to plan motivating activities. Summative assessment provides a summary of attainment at the end of the KG year against the development milestones. This informs the child, 24


Report for Operational Plan to Scale up Quality KG Education in Ghana his/her parents and their next teacher of the knowledge, skills and dispositions they take with them into the next phase of education. In addition, the Child Development Milestones document will support parents’ understanding of a play-based curriculum and how their child’s progress is being assessed. The Child Development Milestones document will be displayed in the classroom for all to see and discuss both informally such as when children are collected from school and formally during parent/teacher meetings. The milestones will be communicated to parents during PTA meetings, where they will be clearly defined. Advice on how parents can encourage their children to reach these milestones will also be explained. The Child Development Milestones document will link to the evaluation of the Operational Plan in measuring outcomes for children. Development milestones have different forms. They may list specific knowledge and practical skills a child typically acquires such as the ability to recognise certain numbers or to use scissors to cut out a shape. Alternatively, they may describe attitudes and dispositions towards learning such as confidence to choose their own resources in order to tackle a problem or their ability to adapt to changes in routine or different social situations. ‘Level descriptors’ can help summarise learning in each area of development and at each age and stage. Having a description of different levels supports the identification of those children who may have special educational needs as well as those who are high achievers. GES and UNICEF have completed work on an assessment tool which details KG Child Development Milestones in all curriculum areas. However, it is not used to inform planning and its implementation as an individual child’s record of attainment has been limited; it is 60 pages long and considered too large for regular use especially with large class sizes. Whilst it provides a good starting point, it will be essential to redesign this and find ways to record each child’s development and progress in such a way that is manageable for teachers. One possibility is a shortened form of the current GES document summarised by four level descriptors for each area of development and for the KG child, which focus on what a child can do rather than what s/he cannot. Whilst each descriptor would be ‘positive’ the levels could provide indicators as follows;  RED level indicates concern and the need for further detailed assessment to identify any special educational need or disorder and the subsequent appropriate intervention and support. 

AMBER level of attainment shows lower than expected attainment.

GREEN level shows the expected attainment.

BLUE level indicates higher than expected attainment.

In this model, three such documents will be needed; one for baseline assessment on entry, one for the end of KG1 and one for the end of KG2.

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Report for Operational Plan to Scale up Quality KG Education in Ghana Cognitive development

Language development

Physical development

Social/Emotional development

Red

Insert here a description of what a child can do but which is a cause for concern at age 4.

Insert here a description of what a child can do but which is a cause for concern at age 4.

Insert here a description of what a child can do but which is a cause for concern at age 4.

Insert here a description of what a child can do but which is a cause for concern at age 4.

Amber

Insert here a description of what an under-achieving child can do aged 4.

Insert here a description of what an under-achieving child can do aged 4.

Insert here a description of what an under-achieving child can do aged 4.

Insert here a description of what an under-achieving child can do aged 4.

Green

Insert here a description of what is typically expected of a child aged 4

Insert here a description of what is typically expected of a child aged 4

Insert here a description of what is typically expected of a child aged 4

Insert here a description of what is typically expected of a child aged 4

Blue

Insert here a description of what high achieving child may do aged 4.

Insert here a description of what high achieving child may do aged 4.

Insert here a description of what high achieving child may do aged 4.

Insert here a description of what high achieving child may do aged 4.

These level descriptors would be in poster-form displayed as a constant reference for teachers and parents. Alongside, would be a second poster, with a class list, to colour code each child’s attainment. This would be held in confidence by the teacher so as not to embarrass any children whose attainment is lower or get parents are very defensive about their children’s progress. This needs to be handled delicately. If parents are offended it could cause them to pull their children out of KG. Name

Cognitive development

Language development

Physical development

Social/Emotional development

Child 1 Child 2

This kind of approach reduces the need for massive amounts of paperwork making it both financially viable and practical. Other models need to be investigated in order to find the right one for Ghana KG. The KG Child Developmental Milestones should be developed alongside KG National Standards and Teacher Professional Standards. These should be ready for the Transformational Teacher Training proposed below. A relatively small amount of funding would be required to complete these 26


Report for Operational Plan to Scale up Quality KG Education in Ghana activities. With these underpinning many of the other activities, it is vital that these are the first to be completed and should be within a short timeframe so that the other activities within the OP can meet the initial 5-year timescale. Completing these would highlight the government’s commitment to the KG programme and kick start the funding for the rest of the OP to take effect. In addition to the KG Child Development Milestones, an internationally recognised, standardised child development tool may need to be identified and applied to provide a baseline for the research element of the Operational Plan and to measure its effectiveness. Such tools include ASQ (Ages and Stages Questionnaire), PPVT (Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test), among others.

5.2 A Joined-Up Approach to Pre-service and In-Service Teacher Training From the Education Management Information System (EMIS) reports for 2011-12, there are 41,484 teachers in KG. Of that number, just 12,920 are trained; representing 31% and 28,564 are untrained, which is 69%. Collectively, these untrained teachers are responsible for the education of over 1 million 4 and 5 year old Ghanaian children every year, as they embark on the first stage of their education journey. The task facing this Operational Plan is significant and as has already been identified, the training of teachers is the most pressing priority. By taking a holistic view of the teacher training sector, GES can develop a model of teacher training which addresses the following challenges:     

To transform the attitude and teaching methodology of all KG teachers, both trained & untrained; To link into pre-service training by providing attachments and practical training for student teachers; To develop a network of national trainers to extend the training into every district; To develop a cadre of mentors to support the teachers as they adopt the new methodology and pedagogy; and To develop peer support mechanisms through circuit based cluster initiatives.

Model of Excellence: Kumasi Metro As part of the programme carried under the Millennium Cities Initiative, the Kumasi Metro Education Directorate began pioneering an alternative approach to KG teacher training in partnership with the Israeli Agency for International Development Cooperation, MASHAV. The programme focuses on encouraging teachers to adopt a 'learning through play' philosophy in their classrooms by offering advice on how to create teaching materials, manage classrooms effectively, and assess pupils' progress objectively. To date roughly 100 teachers have been affected by the programme, which is demonstrating overwhelmingly positive results in both the attitudes of teachers and outputs of pupils. Key to its success has been the leadership and commitment of the Kumasi Metro Education Director, as well as a strong link with the St. Louis College of Education. These two fundamental ingredients exist in other parts of Ghana, and will continue to grow as more Colleges of Education begin accrediting ECE courses.

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Report for Operational Plan to Scale up Quality KG Education in Ghana Inspired by the Kumasi Metro/MASHAV project, the GES has concluded that it should embrace the project as well as initiate a programme of similar principles, which should be formalised and rolled out to other parts of the country. In so doing, it will seek partnerships between its training institutions, NGOs, development partners and the private sector throughout Ghana to deliver high quality training of KG education. Seven Colleges of Education are currently accredited to offer pre-service courses in ECE, and they are well placed to play a pivotal role in the initial delivery and subsequent quality assurance of this training at the pre-service and in-service levels. In time, this role can transition into the delivery and quality assurance of in-service training. Figure 4 indicates the four levels of the teacher training programme that GES needs to develop. The activities within the dark blue circle (1-3) are centred on the College of Education network, and in time will be delivered using the model KG facilities contemplated within Phase 2 of the OP programme. The activities in the rectangular section are delivered as outreach training at the district level.

Figure 4: Four levels of teacher training for transforming kindergarten teaching practice. Level 1 is the train-the-trainer programme which underpins all subsequent training. This programme needs to address the systemic lack of understanding around the principles of play-based and activityled learning which currently exists amongst the staff responsible for the delivery of pre-service and in-service training. Variants of the same train-the-trainer programme can be used to increase 28


Report for Operational Plan to Scale up Quality KG Education in Ghana understanding among current college of education (CoE) and university lecturers, as well as training a new cohort of lecturers for the new colleges, and training the network of Master Trainers and District Trainers required to deliver the in-service training programmes. Level 2 is the pre-service diploma in ECE that is delivered by the CoEs and two Universities. As identified at level 1, there is a need to include the pre-service lecturers in the train-the-trainer programme, to enable them to better prepare their pre-service students in the play-based and activity-led pedagogy that GES is introducing nationwide. There is also a need to expand the current network of six colleges of education by accrediting further colleges in the delivery of the ECE Diploma. Further, student teachers can have excellent placements for the third year of their course, in exemplar schools which are enacting the new approach to kindergarten teaching and learning. These placements are provided by the clustered Fast-Track Transformational training at level 3. Level 3 is the Fast-Track & Transformational Training (FTT) which will initially train untrained teachers (currently teaching) and trainee teachers in conjunction. The course will be focused on the districts in the vicinity of the Colleges of Education to create a network of high quality exemplar schools where the student can then go on placement. The training programme is made up of intensive workshops, combined with regular follow up observation, mentoring and feedback sessions, and will create circuit-level clustered peer-support networks. Once the appropriate capacity of placements is reached, the training can be taken on by the colleges as the standard syllabus for the third year practical placement of the ECE students, with the network of FTT graduates providing clusters of excellence and a network of skilled practitioners to support the wider scale Mass Participation Training at level 4. Level 4 is the Mass Participation Transformational (MPT) training which will train KG teachers (both trained and untrained teachers) and their assistants nationwide in the new pedagogy and childcentred activity-based approach to learning. The training will be less intensive than the FTT, and the graduates of the MPT are not expected to attain the same level of understanding or practice. It will however provide a strong foundation of good teaching practice that the future in-service education and training (INSET) and continuous professional development (CPD) programmes can build on. The MPT will be delivered by the District Training teams with support and mentoring from the Master Trainers, and like the FTT it will focus on intensive training workshops supported by regular review and mentoring sessions. Across both the FTT and the MPT there is a critical need to educate and sensitise head teachers and GES staff to the importance of KG and the principles that both training programmes are founded on. It should also be noted that all levels of training will include significant focus on how to create lowcost teaching resources which can be used in classrooms immediately. “Swings and roundabouts, as well as being expensive and potentially dangerous, have limited use. We need to develop the idea of the ‘outdoor classroom’ as a space with rich opportunities for learning as well as recreation. There is much benefit to be gained from, for example, the use of every-day and scrap materials to support communication, creativity and cognitive development. Bamboo can be used to build structures or channels to transport water or pebbles,; old tyres become stepping stones, seating or planters; fabrics, pegs and washing lines can be used to create shelters or story-telling tents; old water bottles can be filled with a range of materials for sensory exploration; cardboard tubes, cable reels and cardboard boxes can be turned into tractors and buses. Offering 29


Report for Operational Plan to Scale up Quality KG Education in Ghana these kinds of materials to children enables them to initiate their own learning, follow their own interests, use their imaginations and solve problems with their friends. Children can be much deeper and more divergent thinkers than we are and we need to facilitate this and watch what they do� (Pamela Torry, 2012). This aspect of the training will allow teachers to produce TLMs in the short-medium term, before other resources are reviewed and redistributed as per Phase 2 (Section 6.6). 5.2.1 Designing -Out Risk in Cascade Training The need to change attitudes and methodology across a national teacher network requires an ambitious and large scale training programme. In such circumstances the only viable approach to training the large numbers of teachers in a new approach is by employing a cascade training methodology. Cascade training uses tiered levels of train-the-trainer training to cascade knowledge around a new training approach to a national network of trainers, typically originating from a core group of expert trainers at the national level, who train master trainers at the regional level, who in turn train district trainers. The expert trainers design the training package, and the district trainers are responsible for delivery to the trainees. The master trainers are the conduit for disseminating the knowledge of the training methodology to a large number of trainers in a short space of time. Cascade training models are well documented in the developing world, and whilst the methodology is sound, what emerges from programme reviews is a series of risk factors that can undermine the successful delivery of the training, and dilute the training methodology and concepts through the tiers of the cascade process. In order to develop a model of mass teacher training for KG teachers with the highest chance of success, GES needs to design out the following five key risks to the programme’s success. Figure 5 illustrates the configuration of a cascade training model as applicable to KG teacher training in Ghana, and identifies the points at which these key risks occur.

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Report for Operational Plan to Scale up Quality KG Education in Ghana

Figure 5: Identifying risk in a cascade training model Risk 1 is that the quality of the initial training is not to a high enough standard. Quite simply if the training as conceived by the expert trainers does not take into account the context in which it will eventually be delivered and the varying abilities of the trainees destined to receive it, then it is unlikely to be successful. Risk 2 is that as the training is cascaded through the structure, the messages are diluted or distorted and there is not enough quality assurance to ensure that trainers have understood and can communicate the ideas and methodology. The content of the training should be clear and concise, with a core set of key modules which can then be broken down into meaningful training sessions. The quality assurance needs to come from the previous tier of trainers – i.e. the expert trainers quality assure the training delivered by the master trainers, and the master trainers quality assure the delivery of the district trainers. Risk 3 is that there is little or no ongoing support for the teacher as they begin to put the training into practice in the classroom. Without regular follow up and mentoring, it is unlikely that many of the teachers will be successful in actually transforming their teaching practice as the training intends. Change is difficult to achieve, particularly when it involves moving away from an accepted convention to something newer and more innovative. Risk 4 is that not enough attention and investment is given to supporting inputs that enable the teacher to effectively implement the training. These inputs are all about creating an enabling environment at the school and classroom level, and examples could be: steps to reduce PupilClassroom ratios, and ensure that children are in the correct class for their age; investment in infrastructure and resources to allow the teacher to enact activity-led and play-based learning and 31


Report for Operational Plan to Scale up Quality KG Education in Ghana use outdoor learning areas; and, a supportive and understanding head teacher who embraces the new pedagogy and teaching approach for kindergarten. Without these additional inputs, it will be difficult for the teachers to transpose the new approach from the training course into their classrooms. Risk 5 is that the new initiative does not have sufficient political or public support to succeed. In the context of KG teacher training, this refers to buy-in from MoE/GES at the central level, and also amongst frontline staff at the district level. Parental and community support is also critical. Equally important is the management capacity within GES to enact the training, and monitor its effectiveness. MoE and GES also have a vital role to play in ensuring that sufficient funding and resources are made available to roll out the training nationwide. Many of these risks also apply to the wider operational plan, though as the teacher training component has been highlighted as the most pressing priority it is helpful to consider them in this context. As with all aspects of the delivery of the operational plan, quality assurance will be a key factor in determining how far the programme is successful in delivering a quality kindergarten education service nationwide. At the district level, there are well-established levels of quality assurance, from the school-based role of the head teacher, through the circuit level supervisors, to the district level assurance teams, which include key roles such as the KG Coordinator and the District Training Officer. The cascade training of teachers will necessarily need to be designed with these existing assurance functions in mind, and the head teachers, circuit supervisors and district officers will need to be engaged in the concepts and ethos of the training, to enable them to provide supportive supervision and constructive quality assurance. 5.2.2 Expanding Pre-Service Training As has been noted above, there is a pressing need to expand the number of Colleges of Education currently accredited to provide the pre-service training ECE Diploma. At least 12 new colleges of education should be accredited to offer courses in early childhood education, which potentially, together with the two universities which offer such courses, could provide pre-service training for over 2,300 ECE teachers every year. It is recommended that GES undertake a review of current course content accredited by the University of Education, Winneba (UEW) and the University of Cape Coast (UCC), and work with them to develop and implement a streamlined set of pre-service accreditation courses from certificate to degree level based on current research and theory about how children learn best applied to the Ghanaian context. The courses should have a strong practical element and provide the opportunity to put activity based learning into practice. Once this review has been completed and the new course content is prepared, twelve existing Colleges of Education should be selected for ECE accreditation, in a two phase roll out. For the pre-service training to be transformative, there will be the need to orientate/train the current tutors of KG in the colleges of education and universities in early childhood education (as most of them were not trained in ECE), the KG Child Development Milestones, the curriculum, and the new performance and professional standards for KG teachers. This training will also need to be provided to the lecturers from the newly accredited colleges. The distribution of the Colleges among regions should be based on demographic needs (see Appendix 2 for current locations of Colleges of Education both accredited for ECE and non32


Report for Operational Plan to Scale up Quality KG Education in Ghana accredited), but as a minimum, every region should contain at least one ECE accredited college. The nationwide distribution of colleges is important for localising the delivery of kindergarten teacher training and supporting the acquisition of English through local language instruction adopted with the NALAP programme. To further boost the pre-service component, it is recommended that every college should run three ECE student classes so that each college turns out 120 new teachers annually. The table below illustrates the phased expansion of the ECD accredited Colleges of Education from seven to nineteen colleges.

Teachers should leave teacher training colleges with self-made ‘resource kits’ of learning games and activities which can be adapted for different topics and at different levels. Some of the resources would be teacher-led and others would be pupil-led, which would enable the children to learn the games and play independently. These resource kits would be additional to the NALAP and TLMP national resourcing programmes. The practical component of the pre-service training is critical in equipping the student teachers with the experience and understanding of how to transfer their theoretical knowledge to the classroom. The cluster-based Fast-Track & Transformational in-service training that will be supported by the colleges, will serve the additional purpose of creating a network of high quality placements for the student teachers during their practical placements. The pre-service training model recommended requires significant inputs to bring about the kind of transformational shift in attitude and approach amongst the college lecturers, as it requires mentoring and supervision which will enable it to be sustainable in the long term. 5.2.3 A Cross-Cutting Train-the-Trainers programme There is a need to provide train-the-trainer training for both the college lecturers responsible for the pre-service training, and also the Master and District trainers who will roll out and deliver the two tiers of in-service training. Both sets of trainers have received periodic training from GES over the last four years, but a much more intensive programme is required to ensure the new concepts of 33


Report for Operational Plan to Scale up Quality KG Education in Ghana activity-led and play-based learning, and the combination of teacher-led and child-led learning are fully understood by the trainers and can be conveyed through a more practical and experiential approach. As the desired outcome of both training programmes is the same, i.e. a new approach and teaching style for KG teachers, then it should be possible to provide the same or similar training to the preservice and in-service trainers. It is recommended that the train-the-trainer programme be developed in year “0” of the operational plan, and piloted with a small group of college lecturers and master trainers, before it is rolled out to all colleges, and through the national trainer network. 5.2.4 Fast Track Transformational Training for Untrained & Student Teachers This training is focused around the network of colleges of education which are accredited to provide pre-service training to diploma level. This is an intensive, localised teacher training programme which involves the districts in the immediate vicinity of the college. The Fast-Track & Transformational training will take place in model KG schools (either at the CoE or in the district) with classroom based mentoring and observation sessions in the trainees’ own classrooms, and cluster based peer support sessions which will rotate through the trainees schools. The FTT is arranged on a cluster basis – in clusters of schools, each drawn from the same circuit. By including existing but untrained teachers and student teachers in the third year of their diploma course, the training seeks to bridge the divide between pre-service and in-service teacher training. It is in the interest of the colleges to have excellent placements in the vicinity of the colleges for the year that their students spend in the field. In the process of providing an intensive training programme for a core number of untrained teachers (c.120 per college), this training will create clusters of excellent teaching practice where pre-service students can hone their skills during their practical placements. The model of fast-track transformational training currently under consideration would provide the following highly intensive annual programme: •

(Inter)national study tour

35 days of intensive training workshops (2 weeks – 2 weeks – 2 weeks – 1 week)

9 full day refresher training workshops (3 per term)

9 half-day peer reflection and planning sessions at a circuit (cluster) level

10 days of observation and mentoring sessions, including baseline assessment

Once the critical mass of exemplar schools and good practice has been generated around each college, the colleges themselves can adopt and take forward the FTT approach to provide training and additional support for their diploma students as they go into the field on their third year practical placement.

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Report for Operational Plan to Scale up Quality KG Education in Ghana For the existing but untrained teachers, this one year course should result in the award of a Certificate in Early Childhood Education; however, this is a policy issue to be decided on by the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service. 5.2.5 Mass Participation Transformational Training for All KG Teachers & Assistants It is recommended that the large scale “catch up” training for all KG teachers should be based on 70% practical and 30% theory, spread over three holidays. To reflect the scale and nature of the training, it is described as Mass Participation Transformational (MPT) training. In addition to training in curriculum, pedagogy and classroom management, the programme could include: inclusive methodologies to care for children with minor special needs and how to detect minor special needs; the best use of NALAP and TLM resources; the new KG professional standards including the development milestones and assessment for children in KG. This one year course should result in the award of a Certificate in Early Childhood Education, which, as indicated earlier, is a policy issue for the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service. It will run alongside current INSET activities, with the long term goal being that the two types of training will merge (retaining a learning through play approach) once all KG teachers have completed the one year MPT. The Mass Participation Transformational training model being proposed is very different from the current training models used in Ghana. It has been developed to include coaching, mentoring, review and reflection elements and designed to enable sustainable change in teacher practice and attitudes towards early childhood teaching. With small pockets of theory training over a period of time, interspersed with on the job practice and support elements (such as mentoring and peer coaching, review and reflection) the impetus to implement what has been learnt in the theoretical training is enhanced. Ghanaian teachers need to learn the importance of self-reflection and evaluation. They need to be open to constructive criticism in order to enhance their professional development. They also need to be able to learn from their failures and make adjustments that would lead to better outcomes when met with a similar situation. There is strong evidence that these elements support training which can be embedded effectively into practice, provides in school support and build confidence in teachers to try new ideas and put theory into practice. The mass participation transformational training currently under consideration would provide the following annual programme: •

15 days of training workshops (2 weeks – 1 week)

6 days of review and reflection workshops

10 half-day reflective and planning workshops

8 half-day observation and mentoring sessions

As noted above, it is vital that head teachers are sensitised through the Mass Participation Transformational Training so that they can support the teachers as they adopt the new approach.

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Report for Operational Plan to Scale up Quality KG Education in Ghana Teaching assistants would also, by extension, benefit from the District level Transformative Change Training of teachers. Through school-based sessions, delivered by the teachers who themselves will receive training at cluster level, the assistants would be exposed to the transformative change training.

5.3 Monitoring and Evaluation of Outcomes Monitoring, evaluation and assessment will be a crucial element of the KG Operational Plan and will occur at different levels and for different purposes. 1. Monitoring of the system and outputs pertaining to inter alia; a. age-appropriate pupil enrolment b. pedagogy and teacher professional development c. curriculum and learning materials d. infrastructure and learning environment 2. Monitoring of the quality of KG services through inspection and self-evaluation against the newly devised National Standards (see section 6.7) 3. Monitoring of outcomes for children against the newly revised child development milestones and through the use of an agreed assessment tool (see section 5.1 above), the outcome of which will be shared with parents. Considering that most research and educational institutions are unfamiliar with the new vision and pedagogy which underpins the KG Scale-up, it is necessary for a Ghanaian higher education institution to work with an international counterpart or research institution to assess the validity and success of the operational plan, for a realistic impact evaluation of the outcomes of the operational plan. This will require baseline, mid-term and end-term surveys to present findings and recommendations to GES, MoE, other key stakeholders and financial donors. Accepting the recommendations and acting on them for improvement of the programme would provide GES/MoE the lessons and the evidence to sustain the national scale up in the long term.

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Report for Operational Plan to Scale up Quality KG Education in Ghana

6.0 Phase 2: Infrastructure, INSET and branding

6.1 Infrastructure Shortfall Based on EMIS data, it is estimated that between 5,350 and 29,230 new classrooms will be required from 2012 to 2017. The infrastructure shortfall in the KG sector will therefore require a huge capital outlay. At the very least, the following could be done in the short term:

37

Build up to 250 model schools (1 per CoE & Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies) to support the Transformative Change Training of KG teachers

Carry out major repairs to 5,800 classrooms (EMIS 2011)

Upgrade all classrooms to a minimum standard (including the provision of outdoor learning areas)


Report for Operational Plan to Scale up Quality KG Education in Ghana

6.2 Infrastructure Standards and Policies Further, a working group for infrastructure standards should be set up to continue the existing work and fill in the gaps in guidelines/policy for future KG infrastructural development in both the public and private sectors. Teachers need to be included in the discussion of standards for structure and layout of the classrooms. The minimum plot size for classrooms, outdoor learning spaces and playground/recreation areas must be incorporated into policy. It should also include the number of children per toilet and pupil-classroom and pupil-teacher ratios. The target pupil-classroom ratio should be 403 and at the current ratio of 63, there is the need to consider planning a phased approach over the next 5 years, to increase infrastructure to an appropriate level, noting annual population growth of 2.7%. Main guidelines to include in minimum standards (ensuring standards account for geographical differences) for the following areas; 

The school (both location and site dimensions) – consideration should be given to moving KGs closer to communities (the maximum acceptable distance for a KG child to walk to school is 3km)

Buildings (include sick bay and building size/ dimensions per child).

Dual grade classrooms may be considered in very small rural communities where numbers of KG1 and KG2 historically have remained low in number. However the activities should be prescribed as stated in the curriculum for the separate age groups.

Furniture

Water & sanitation – for example, hygiene facilities need to be technologically appropriate and water supplies sustained all year round

Feeding (both kitchen and dining hall)

Play equipment.

Local materials should be used in the designing of KGs, and sunlight and natural ventilation should be taken into account in the design as well especially in areas without electricity. Infrastructure standards should be set using the model provided by UNICEF’s child-friendly schools framework,

3

The PCR target of 30 is viewed as not realistic in the short to medium term. 40 have been tested successfully in the Mashav programme in Kumasi, and was shown to be workable, with a teacher and teaching assistan

38


Report for Operational Plan to Scale up Quality KG Education in Ghana incorporating elements from the Sabre Trust Sustainable Kindergarten Complex approach. Model classrooms should showcase the best way to arrange indoor and outdoor spaces, and demonstrate how effective learning environments can be achieved even where brick classrooms are unavailable.

6.3 Indoor and Outdoor Equipment Simple guidelines and resource lists should be developed for all kindergarten classrooms as a benchmark for teachers to work towards. It is suggested that the guidelines split equipment into “must have” items and “optional” pieces of equipment. Criteria for “must have” equipment are they should primarily support learning, promote problem solving, social skills etc. Multi-purpose equipment are efficient and effective and would appear on the “must have list”. There is the need to focus on the effective use of local materials. Materials considered ‘scrap’ can be valuable for learning, and are cheap and readily available. Such descriptors should be included on the list of equipment requirements. Teachers need to think creatively concerning the layout of the learning environment and incorporate pedagogy and the Ghana curriculum. Teachers’ inputs need to be respected and included with regards to this as well. The learning environment is crucial to effective KG pedagogy and should reflect children's needs and interests as well as serve the KG curriculum. Any suggested guidelines for materials which can be used in the indoor and outdoor learning areas should be treated as such and teachers should be encouraged to incorporate their own dynamic ideas as well.

6.4 INSET Training for KG Teachers and Assistants In-service education and training (INSET) is not prioritised in Phase 1 of the OP because it will not be significantly overhauled over the next 5 years. INSET services, as they currently stand, will continue alongside the Mass Participation Transformation (MPT) and Fast Track Transformational Training (FTT) until all KG teachers have been through one of these two schemes. A holistic model of INSET for KG teachers and teaching assistants, to ensure continuous professional training, can be included after all KG teachers have received the transformational training or upgraded pre-service training (all newly qualified teachers). There is an on-going discussion in Ghana to move away from the current model of 5-day training blocks as the benefits of coaching, mentoring, review and reflection elements in training are recognised. Such a supported and resource intensive approach to training is expensive but offers more sustainable outcomes. A cohort of over 600 qualified and experienced teacher trainers will exist in Ghana, following the implementation of the Mass Participation Transformational (MPT) training for KG teachers. A further 114 highly skilled and experienced master trainers will also exist. This pool of trainers would be confident and knowledgeable enough to become INSET trainers under any newly-formulated GES INSET programme. This assumes that the GES will change the current system of INSET for KG teachers to become more centered on mentoring and support (as proposed by TED). Considering this, it is possible that the end of the fixed term contracts for the District KG Teacher Trainers will coincide with a review of the methods of training delivery for teachers in Ghana nationally. If this is the case then these District KG Teacher Trainers could form a pool of specialist trainers for KG Education.

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Report for Operational Plan to Scale up Quality KG Education in Ghana Further discussion, decision and implementation needs to happen over the next two years to enable the transformative change in INSET in Ghana and enable the profession to make use of the well trained specialist KG trainers with extensive experience. When finalising the 12 draft KG INSET modules there needs to be an inclusion of the KG development milestones. The modules should also build on the transformative change training (catch-up training) completed by all teachers in phase 1.

6.5 Parents and Public Awareness to Promote KG - Branding KG currently has a low status not only within the general population but within GES itself. It is recognized that for the new KG development milestones to be achieved, all stakeholders and the general public must be on board. Getting parents to understand the new play-based learning curriculum will be a crucial factor in ensuring the success of the KG Operational plan’s objectives. In this regard, a public awareness drive to promote the new KG concept and re-brand KG must be embarked upon. The public relations (PR) company to be contracted will work with stakeholders, especially the proposed KG Working Group, to design the logo and documentation, training materials, signage for KGs and whole corporate image. The sensitisation programme will be carried out through print media, electronic media (internet/TV/radio), community focused programmes, community/assembly meetings, church/mosque gatherings, etc. The sensitisation programmes will include: (i) getting the public to understand that KG education places less emphasis on academics; (ii) the early childhood development standards for Ghana; (iii) the benefits of quality KG for the cognitive development of the child; (iv) promoting parental involvement in PTA/governing body and as ‘supervisors of the KG’; (v) the image/status of the KG teacher; (vi) sensitising the community to capture data on children under 4 years old from birth; (vii) pushing for the acceptance of the use of locally made TLM’s alongside play and learning equipment by GES in order to increase production to meet the needs of GES; (viii) a programme with the training colleges and universities to raise the profile of KG in the minds of students; (ix) a programme to educate private sector KGs on the agreed ECD standards; (x) assisting districts to develop programmes that will engage parents in KG education and explain how they can assist in their child’s learning at home; (xi) a set of flip charts/slides that each district assembly GES office can use to educate the parents/public on what a KG should look like. In keeping with the model schools suggested in section 6.1, every district would have a suitable venue in which to host open days. This would provide the forum to engage parents in KG education and explain how they can assist in their child’s learning. Furthermore, encouraging parent 40


Report for Operational Plan to Scale up Quality KG Education in Ghana participation in PTAs and school governing bodies could be facilitated through the media as well as district and community-based CSOs.

6.6 Learning Materials and Resources GES in association with UNICEF has developed a sound and comprehensive curriculum document which addresses 6 areas of learning and development. Also, NALAP and TLMP materials have been developed and are in use. The curriculum was deemed by international experts as adequate enough to be used without immediate review. Though the NALAP and TLMP materials should be reviewed, it is recommended that more effort be put into training teachers to use these materials in the child-led, child-centred, activity-based learning. A useful supplementary resource could be a teacher guide on how to use the curriculum and assessment tool for teachers. In lieu of spending on expensive learning materials, teachers should be trained in using available local materials and resources to achieve the expected learning outcomes. They should also be trained to involve community members in activities with the children. In phase two, the current curriculum, which will be extensively used in phase one, should be reviewed, to make it thematic, activity-based and integrated to promote children's holistic development. The assessment manual should also be reviewed to ensure that it is in line with the curriculum, the KG development milestones and is user-friendly. Also, NALAP and TLMP should be merged into a single approach (this is already under review) to provide sustainable resources to support the delivery of the new KG pedagogy. The Curriculum, Research and Development Division (CRDD) of GES want 60,000 copies of the curriculum printed and distributed to ensure that every KG teacher, school heads, circuit supervisor in the country and every centre that is carrying out any form of KG Teacher training has a copy. It is recommended that key documentation of this nature be put on the GES website to make it accessible to both private and public KG institutions and teachers across the country. This will also reduce printing and distribution costs.

6.7 Establish National KG Standards The establishment of specific National Standards for KG Education in Ghana, applicable to both public and private schools, will emphasize to all stakeholders and the public the crucial and unique nature of this mandatory phase of education. The standards need to provide clear expectations in a number of key areas; 

KG teacher professional standards including: o

level of qualification and continuous professional development (CPD)

o

quality of relationships and interaction with children

o

understanding child development

o

provision of stimulating, activity-based learning experiences based on the KG curriculum

 Outcomes for KG children using the child development milestones and the KG assessment tool 41


Report for Operational Plan to Scale up Quality KG Education in Ghana 

Infrastructure, the indoor and outdoor learning environment and resources

Partnerships with parents and the wider community

Though this component is being recommended for phase two, some standards, such as those relating to KG teachers, the KG Child Development Milestones and assessment tools, will need to be considered and then reviewed during phase one to inform the development of the National Standards in phase two. It is recommended that the National Standards should be developmental in structure with level descriptors for each key area indicating where KG schools are ‘under-achieving’, ‘emerging’, ‘established’ or ‘enhanced’ in their provision. The Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale (ECERS) and the World Bank, Systems Approach for Better Education Results (SABER) – Early Childhood Development, use similar developmental approaches to evaluation and data analysis and may provide models on which to draw. The National Standards will provide the framework for inspection by the District Directorate or Inspectorate Division of GES, as well as a useful self-evaluation tool to be used by KG staff, parents and the local community. As such, all stakeholders will require training in the National Standards.

7.0 Phase 3: Curriculum, Special Needs, and Quality Assurance

Though the following components were not prioritised, they were recognised by stakeholders and GES as important to work on in the long term.  42

A curriculum that is fit for purpose and states the expected outcomes


Report for Operational Plan to Scale up Quality KG Education in Ghana 

An efficient referral unit to be able to identify children with minor special needs

Regular and reliable external supervision and quality assurance through Inspection that monitors and evaluates the self-assessment and evaluation process

Regular and reliable self-assessment and evaluation for KG where KG staff, parents and the wider community come together to seek improvement

In implementing the above components, the following should be taken into account: 

There should be a review of the KG Child Development Milestones, alongside the KG assessment, teacher guide and training, before the curriculum is reviewed.

Special needs training as part of the pre-service curriculum should cover identification and methodology. It should enable practical use of methodologies by forming part of the rationalization of the syllabus for pre-service training.

When launching the inspection and self-evaluation tools, pilot schools must reflect the breadth of school quality, crosscutting public and private sectors as well as urban, semiurban and rural schools.

The self-evaluation tool should seek to address: (i) statistical information; and (ii) quality in other aspects of KG: relationships, environment, resources, planning, parental participation, etc.

8.0 Conclusion The process involved in developing the operational plan for the national scale up of KG education in Ghana has taken longer than expected. However, it has been a participatory and collaborative process with the participation of a broad spectrum of stakeholders, and the active leadership of Government. As requested by Government, the plan is comprehensive and has been designed in three phases, though there is acknowledgement that the phases are not on strictly sequential basis and allow for a degree of overlap. The plan lays out a Ghanaian pedagogy and vision for KG, with emphasis on activity-based, childcentred and child-led learning. This vision for KG education will be driven by the new pedagogy based on teacher understanding of how children learn and develop. This will result in a fresh approach to the current curriculum and child assessment. The development of a key document detailing child development milestones will simplify the existing one developed by GES with UNICEF support in order to make it more manageable, progressive and accessible to parents. For this to become a reality in the classroom, all stakeholders acknowledged the importance of training the existing workforce, the KG teacher and his/her assistant (trained or untrained), the leadership in the school (head teacher) and the staff in the district, region and national offices, in this new pedagogy and vision. This accounts for the mass participation transformational training in the OP. To ensure that the KG teachers who come out of the colleges of education (CoE) are sufficient to fill existing vacancies and future attrition, as well as trained in the new pedagogy, a fast track transformational training has been designed for them and the Colleges of Education accredited in ECE to be increased from the current seven to nineteen. 43


Report for Operational Plan to Scale up Quality KG Education in Ghana To assess the validity and success of the operational plan, and for a realistic, unbiased impact evaluation of the outcomes of the operational plan, an international and a Ghanaian higher education institution will be contracted to jointly undertake independent monitoring and evaluation. In addition, monitoring and evaluation will happen at other levels, including the outcomes for children against the newly revised child development milestones and through the use of an agreed assessment tool. While there was acknowledgement that there are other aspects of KG which need equal attention, the consensus was that whatever funding is mobilised will go first to the phase one activities, while government engages potential donors to consider the phase two and three activities. For this reason, they were also costed. These include: Infrastructure shortfall; Infrastructure standards and policies; Indoor and outdoor equipment; Public awareness to promote KG (Branding); Learning materials and resources; Establishment of National KG Standards; Curriculum development in line with the revised child development milestones; Special needs; and Quality assurance. For the successful implementation of the operational plan, certain operational and policy issues have been identified for the immediate consideration of the management of GES and MoE. These include the need for resourcing the ECE Unit to manage the operational plan; increased funding to the KG sector to the target set in the ESP of 5.7% of MoE funds; commitment by GES/MOE to expand ECE accredited Colleges of Education; award of a Certificate in Early Childhood Education and an increase in salary for the untrained teachers who complete the one year mass participatory transformational training. With this plan in place, what is now left is for the Government of Ghana and its development partners to initiate its immediate implementation.

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Report for Operational Plan to Scale up Quality KG Education in Ghana

Appendices Appendix 1: Baseline situation for KG in Ghana (Summary) Compared to other African countries, Ghana has made great strides in Early Childhood Education. It has high enrolment rates (GER 98.4%) at the kindergarten level (KG), the existence of a large teacher workforce (31,595 teachers, 41,484 if the private sector is included), a comparatively strong private sector, and small scale examples of good practice. There are still significant challenges facing the Ghana Education Service (GES) in scaling up quality kindergarten education nationwide however. The current approach to KG closely resembles the established structure for formal basic education, with two years of classroom-based formal instruction, three years of pre-service training for new teachers and a large teacher workforce on government payroll. This is a structure which will require massive, prolonged investment that will significantly stretch GoG resources in order to scale up quality KG. Also there are key implementation challenges: 1) quality of teaching is low and there are many untrained teachers; 2) the pedagogy is mainly rote-based instruction; 3) parental support is weak; 4) KG specific outcomes are not measured using existing assessment tools; 5) KG provision is not evenly distributed. The following sections, taken from the Situational and Stakeholder Analysis reports and the reports of the five Technical Working Groups for the scaling-up of KG, outline in greater detail, Ghana’s KG education system baseline situation: 2.1 Teacher training 

7 out of 38 Colleges of Education are accredited by the University of Cape Coast (UCC) to provide certification to diploma level for Early Childhood Education (ECE) (see appendix 3 for map of where the Colleges of Education are placed).

Between 2008 and 2012 these colleges turned out approximately 600 KG teachers annually.

There are currently two Early Childhood Education (ECE) accreditation programmes running one by the University of Cape Coast (UCC) and the other by the University of Education, Winneba (UEW) - with no common syllabus.

From the Education Management Information System (EMIS) report for 2011-12, there are 41,484 teachers in KG. Of that number, just 12,920 are trained; representing 31% and 28,564 are untrained, representing 69%. From the situational analysis report, of the 31% trained teachers, only 30% are trained specifically in Early Childhood Education. It is unclear how many ECE trained teachers are specifically trained to support KG (i.e. 4 & 5 years old) or under 4s.

The extent to which existing KG teachers are availing themselves of opportunities for in-service education and training (INSET) is currently unknown.

It is uncertain whether the INSET that is provided is appropriate given the needs of the KG teachers.

There is a shortage of accredited institutions to train teachers in ECE and a gap in the provision of training for the trainers and tutors that lead the courses.

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Report for Operational Plan to Scale up Quality KG Education in Ghana 

Opportunities allowing teachers to upgrade their skills and qualifications include; -

in-service training,

-

paid study leave,

-

sandwich courses,

-

distance learning, and

-

one-off training.

2.2 Curriculum and pedagogy 

GES in association with UNICEF has developed a sound and comprehensive curriculum document which addresses 6 areas of learning and development.

Teacher pedagogical practice typically shows a lack of understanding as to how children should learn and how teachers should teach.

The aims and rationale of the curriculum are not evident in classroom pedagogy.

The curriculum delivery is largely based on rote learning methods relating to letters and numbers. Practice is neither child-centred nor activity-based.

Average class sizes of 64 children make it very difficult to effectively assess the progress of each individual child. (EMIS 2010-11)

GES, in association with UNICEF, has developed a Pupil Assessment Toolkit for KG teachers (2008), which has been distributed to schools. However, not all teachers have access to it or have been trained to use it.

National Literacy Acceleration Programme (NALAP) and Textbooks and Learning Materials Programme (TLMP) are two separate national resource schemes based on different pedagogies with no apparent collaboration or consultation between them.

2.3 Infrastructure 

KG classrooms are often attached to a primary classroom which is unsatisfactory if childcentred learning (active, activity based and learning through play) is to be carried out effectively; healthy KG noise levels disturb the primary school students and teachers.

Many classrooms have poor ventilation, poor lighting and thin roofing (noisy during rainfall).

The classroom setting is too structured and geared towards academic work.

The current size of classrooms is not big enough to allow for ‘break out’ spaces or learning centres which support child-centred active learning; there is also little support for varied indoor and outdoor learning environments.

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Report for Operational Plan to Scale up Quality KG Education in Ghana 

51% of public KG schools lack access to toilet facilities - this leads to children using nearby bushes, a situation which is both unsanitary and dangerous.

19% of public KG schools lack access to drinking water.

GES recommends that one balanced meal be provided to each KG child every day. Currently this is not being practised in most public KGs.

2.4 Quality Assurance 

Teacher absenteeism is high, particularly in deprived areas.

Some teachers fail to report to duty without reason.

Some teachers’ behaviour is inappropriate towards the children for a variety of reasons; physical/verbal abuse, didactic teaching style, children left to own devices without stimulation or supervision.

Teaching profession has low status nationally and KG teachers are therefore not respected as highly as is necessary by the community given the critical importance of their role.

Teachers are not practicing child-centred active learning pedagogies in their delivery.

The current assessment model is impractical for teachers to use with large numbers of KG children, due to the large number of indicators and volume of paperwork required.

There are many documents pertaining to inspection and quality assurance but a general lack of clarity and understanding of expectations and required standards amongst teachers, Head Teachers and those supporting them.

2.5 Government KG Support services 

KG currently has a low status not only within the general population but also within GES itself.

Established patterns mean that sector ministries are not coordinated in their approach to the planning and implementation of early childhood development (ECD).

A special needs referral system is in place but peripatetic officers are missing and not equitably deployed.

Specialist care units for the severely disabled are not easily accessible and few in number.

Units to detect minor special education needs (dyslexia, autism etc.) are few and not equitably deployed.

30% of children are older than the official age when they start first grade in primary school. This contributes to repetition and drop-out rates. Research in neurobiology tells us that children are highly susceptible to positive influences at 4 and 5 years of age, which can bring significant positive impacts in the primary school years.

47


Report for Operational Plan to Scale up Quality KG Education in Ghana 

The presence of over-age children means the system is not catering specifically to the needs of 4 and 5 year olds at such a crucial stage in brain development.

Under 4’s, who have simply followed older siblings to school and are waiting to leave with them, can be found in KG classrooms or loitering around school compounds/under trees.

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Report for Operational Plan to Scale up Quality KG Education in Ghana Appendix 2: Operational Plan for scaling up quality KG education – Broad Framework

49


Report for Operational Plan to Scale up Quality KG Education in Ghana Appendix 3: Current Distribution of Colleges of Education

Current Distribution of ECE accredited Colleges 50

Distribution of all Colleges of Education

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MoE Programme to Scale-Up Quality Kindergarten Education in Ghana  

Narrative Report by Ghana's Ministry of Education to Support the Operational Plan to Scale up Quality KG Education in Ghana

MoE Programme to Scale-Up Quality Kindergarten Education in Ghana  

Narrative Report by Ghana's Ministry of Education to Support the Operational Plan to Scale up Quality KG Education in Ghana

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