Management and Editorial Board Members together with the IT Staff of the Colleges of Education Weekly Journal (CoEWJ) have been taken through an intensive 2-day capacity building training workshop as part of a continuous improvement strategy of the news journal.
The unprecedented training activities took place at Kemmat Hotel at Ada in the Greater Accra Region from the 13th – 15th August 2021.
The program was privileged to have had astute training consultants both in the Education and the Media sectors. Key among them were Dr. Sam Awuku, key advisor, Transforming Teaching, Education and Learning (T-TEL), and Manasseh Azuri Awuni, a media consultant and the Editor-in-Chief of The Fourth Estate (A non-profit, public interest and accountability investigative journalism project of the Media Foundation for West Africa, MFWA).
Participants at the training workshop included Larry Agbador, Editor-In-Chief, C. K. Kolamong, Managing Editor, Hannah Tinyeb Mobya, Communication officer/Management Member. Members of the Editorial Board present included Bruce Senam M., Wasila Mohamud, and Felix Mawudor Vorvor. The rest were Emmanuel Agbitor, Graphic Designer, Desmond Kitsi, Web developer, and Logo Philip Selassie, Transcriptionist.
In his keynote address, Dr. Awuku reiterated T-TEL’s commitment to ensuring that things happening especially in the teacher education sector are well communicated, well shared, and where possible policymakers are put on their toes to achieve the aims for every Ghanaian child by receiving a quality education. “It is for this reason that T-TEL has committed itself for the past 6 years to support the Country”, He asserted.
Dr. Awuku recounted the historical and philosophical antecedents of Transforming Teacher Education and Learning (T-TEL) and how it was transmogrified to a wholly Ghanaian non-governmental organisation now known as Transforming Teaching, Education and Learning (T-TEL), supporting Teacher Education and the necessary agencies of the Ministry of Education that needs support that Education is good in this Country. As such, the T-TEL mandate is to advise these agencies in terms of policies formulation and implementation as well as securing funding for their plans and programs of action. He averred that T-TEL, inter alia, is also looking at Senior High Institutions. He affirmed that T-TEL aims to support the Government to ensure that every child in this country will receive a quality education. According to him, T-TEL is now working out an operational and working definition of what constitutes quality education in Ghana.
“As a news journal, the expectation will be to be able to communicate all the above mentioned clearly without fear or favour. Where it is going wrong you need to say it and what that means is that you need to make sure that you assume a clear position of journalistic autonomy with a mandate to serve the community ensuring that post holders are doing the right thing”. He emphasized.
He admonished the news journal to do a self-introspection to ascertain areas that needed to be focused on, reporting on those areas to enable the system to work, enable the clients to see it as a go-to for information for lessons. Dr. Awuku underscored the need for a transformational agenda of the Journal.
He admonished members to adopt academic writing in their writing endeavours.
Dr. Awuku in his concluding submission, referenced Isaac Newton, “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants”. Apparently, the quotation was in relation to Manasseh Awuni as the main facilitator for the training workshop. He was in no doubt that the workshop would achieve its intended purpose.
Dr. Awuku used the occasion to eulogize Mr. Awuni for his professional works and indicated that the news journal could not have chosen a better facilitator for the training.
Mr. Awuni in his opening remarks recounted his rather hypnotic journey as a journalist. According to him, it takes diligence, perseverance, honesty, integrity as well as courage and determination to keep one buoyed in the media sector. He professed that professionalism is the trick of the game.
He indicated that Editors must be curious, critical thinkers with a burning desire to tell a good story, and a dedication to accuracy, fairness, balance, and media ethics. He asserted that acting at the behest of stakeholders is a non sequitur in journalism and will lead to a weird metaphor in the lens of your audience.
Mr. Awuni, after his preliminary interaction with participants, took them through editing news stories, online web news portal, how to strengthen an Editorial Board, roles and responsibilities of Editorial Board members, researching on a news story, working on investigative news stories among others. He took participants through exciting but challenging activities to improve their writing skills. Participants were also taken through graphic designing and website management. They were also introduced to contemporary IT tools and techniques to aid in their endeavours.
The training workshop which was fully sponsored by T-TEL ended with the participants in a buoyant mood. The apogee of the program was an excursion to the Treasure Island in ADA.
The Management and Editorial board are grateful to T-TEL for coming to its aid in building the capacity of its members.
Story by: C. Kantam Kolamong | Larry K. Agbador