Graduands of the St. Teresa’s College of Education (TERESCO) at Hohoe in the Volta Region have been urged to promote inclusive education where all children can learn and feel they belong.
Inclusive education requires a number of changes in teaching practices, curriculum content, assessment procedures and available resources at the school level.
Professor Samuel Kwaku Hayford, the Dean of Faculty of Educational Studies, University of Education, Winneba, said this at the 13th Annual Congregation for 529 graduands of the 2019 and 2020 batches of the College at Hohoe.
It was on the theme: “Promoting Inclusive Education: The Newly Trained Teachers’ Obligation.”
“Inclusion requires teachers to accept responsibility for creating schools in which all children can learn and feel they belong,” Prof Hayford said in a speech read on his behalf.
He said teachers played the main role in promoting, participation and reducing under achievement, particularly with children who might be perceived as having difficulties in learning.
He reminded the graduands of the right of every child to competent teachers, who were able to support learning and progress adding; “Newly trained teachers play a critical role in inspiring and challenging students to achieve their potentials.”
Prof Hayford said the teachers’ professional practice required that they paid attention to all learners, especially students with disability, ensuring that they progressed in knowledge and competencies.
Ms Sophia Adjoa Micah, the Principal of TERESCO, said the graduands were the first batch of students to offer Early Childhood Education in the College under the three-year Diploma in Basic Education Programme and also the last batch who offered the Diploma in Basic Education in the public colleges of education in Ghana.
She said they had been an inspiration to other students to choose the programme and “through their efforts we inaugurated the Early Childhood Students’ Association, TERESCO Chapter.”
“The 2020 batch of graduands, apart from being the last batch of students who offered the Three-Year Diploma in Basic Education, which was started in 2004, also recorded the highest of First Class Honours (16) in the history of the College as far as the Programme is concerned.”
The Principal expressed gratitude to all stakeholders for their continuous support and to the staff for their acceptance of additional responsibility to mentor student teachers.
She said the College won a slot for the establishment of Teaching and Learning Material Resource Centre with GH₵30,000, which had been inaugurated and in use.
Ms Micah said the renovation of the Administration Block, building of school wall, a chapel, semi-detached staff bungalow and an auditorium were some of the ongoing projects the College was undertaking.
She said the College experienced power fluctuations, which raises safety and security concerns, especially being an all-female institution, and appealed to the Government for a power plant to ensure constant supply of power.
The College was in need of a science laboratory, hall of residence, staff accommodation, clinic, a multi-purpose auditorium and a good road network on the campus, Ms Micah said.
She admonished the graduands to engage in continuous professional development to adequately meet the demands of the changing trends in education and the National Teachers’ Standards to enhance the promotion of inclusive education.
Mr Harry Attipoe, the Registrar, Volta Regional House of Chiefs, said the newly trained teachers were agents of change and must not see posting to a remote part of Ghana as a punishment.
“Rather, the teacher must see that posting as a call to duty and charge to make a difference,” he said.
He said the graduands had been challenged to ask not what their country could do for them but what they could do for their country and urged them to work hard in building a more inclusive educational system.
Mesdammes Gladys Ama Dibuama and Evelyn Trom were adjudged 2019 and 2020 overall best graduating students, respectively, while Mesdammes Lawrencia Asem-Deku and Gloria Diboamah were adjudged 2019 and 2020 best behaved graduands, respectively.
The TERESCO was established on November 1, 1961 with 35 students from the then nine regions of Ghana, headed by Ms Catherine Bagley, an Australian Grail Missionary.
It currently has a population of 703 students and 81 staff comprising 44 teaching and 37 non-teaching staff.
Source: Ghana News Agency (GNA)