Ten final year Student teachers from Colleges of Education (CoEs) have participated in four-week internships in T-TEL offices across Ghana
Jackson Saaga (first left), Perpetual Wadjoly (second left), Robin Todd, Executive Director, T-TEL (middle), Sandra Adu-Gyamfi (second right), Jonathan Dzunu, TTAG President (first from right)
This year the Teacher Trainee’s Association of Ghana (TTAG) and Transforming Teaching, Education & Learning (T-TEL) have collaborated to offer internships for final year student teachers. The internships, which are offered to student teachers twice a year for four weeks during College of Education vacation periods, provide the opportunity to gain practical work experience and also understand how T-TEL collaborates and works with the Ministry of Education and government agencies both nationally and sub-nationally.
Robin Todd, the Executive Director of T-TEL, explained that the internships demonstrate T-TEL’s commitment to provide practical learning opportunities to talented young Ghanaians:
“These internships enable student teachers to gain insights and experiences right across our education system, from policy meetings in the Ministry of Education to Professional Learning Community sessions in basic schools. This exposure will be invaluable to them when they enter the teaching profession whilst also making them aware of the standards and professionalism which T-TEL expects from all of our staff.”
T-TEL and TTAG have a strong working relationship which has been built over a number of years.
Jonathan Dzunu, the National President of TTAG, speaking at its 26th General Assembly, spoke positively about the internship scheme.
Jonathan Dzunu and other TTAG Executives at the 26th General Assembly
“During our handing over in Accra College of Education, we discussed how to continue to secure new support and sustain existing support with our key stakeholders. It was there that Robin stated that T-TEL could support TTAG through an internship scheme. This internship has already provided invaluable experience that the interns can keep for the rest of their lives and apply in the teaching profession.”
Jonathan said that the feedback he has received from those who have interned with T-TEL has been positive. “They tell me that the exposure alone has been good, and some tell me that they have learnt how to collect data which will help them during their final year project work.”
He was confident that the leadership of TTAG would discuss ways to expand these internship opportunities in future. “Based on the feedback we are receiving from the interns, TTAG executives are now exploring ways of meeting other stakeholders on how they can come on board to support the teacher trainees and the Colleges at large with other internship schemes.”
Angelica A. Azuwieh, a student teacher and the Vice President of the Student Representative Council (SRC) of her College, Dambai College of Education was one of the first batch of teacher trainees who spent four weeks interning at T-TEL earlier this year.
Angelica expressed her excitement to have undergone her internship at T-TEL because “it was a good learning experience and helped me expand my knowledge and understanding of the significant amount of work done in CoEs, especially with the Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) programme”.
During her internship period, Angelica spent some time with a team of assessors during the B.Ed. Fidelity of Implementation (FoI) exercise – an exercise conducted by the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission (GTEC) to evaluate the extent to which the B.Ed. is being implemented as intended across all the 46 public Colleges of Education.
“I initially thought I understood the B.Ed. programme well until I joined the Fidelity of Implementation exercise. I observed some of the field interviews and participated in lesson observations. These enabled me to better appreciate the work done across all 46 CoEs and the transition journey of Colleges from Diploma awarding institutions to Degree awarding institutions.”
Angelica also shared how the internship opportunity will directly impact her teaching. She stated that she picked up valuable insights from a series of lessons she observed during the FoI exercise: “I believe that I will be a great teacher in the classroom… I have learnt a lot on how to observe lessons and also give feedback. In giving feedback, you first have to appreciate the strengths and praise the teacher’s effort before stating some shortfalls observed in the lesson delivery. You must ensure that you end your feedback by re-emphasising the strengths. When you do that, you will notice that the teacher will reflect on the feedback and improve on their lessons next time.”
Sandra Adu Gyamfi is a Level 400 B.Ed student teacher from St. Louis College of Education. She was in the second batch of interns who recently finished their programme with T-TEL. She says that the internship experience has “opened my eyes and mind to understand and appreciate educational policies for teacher education. My notion that educational policies are drafted by some selected few in the comfort of their offices has changed. I have experienced some of the broader stakeholder consultations and preparations leading to curriculum development and other educational policies. One thing that stood out for me is the Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) considerations in the curriculum writing workshop I participated in at Ho. Additionally, I see a wealth of resources and information on the GTEC Colleges of Education Management Information System (CEMIS) platform that I think the CoEs should make good use of to support teaching and learning.”
“I have learnt a lot in this short time and I know that can make a big difference when I return to college and also begin my career as a teacher.”