The Minister of Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum has admonished heads of schools and teachers to adopt innovative ways of making the classroom receptive and interactive for students.
He said creating such atmosphere apart from yielding greater learning outcomes also helped in forging a sense of belongingness among the students thereby helping them realise their full potential.
“We students walk into our classrooms, walk into our schools and they don’t feel like they belong, they develop their own perception about what the teacher is thinking about them. But if they feel belonging and belongingness is there, even if you scold them, they think you care about them and that is why you are telling them what to do and not to do,” he explained.
Dr Adutwum made the call at the opening of the 12th Teaching and learning conference organised under the auspices of The Educators Network (TEN) in collaboration with the Lincoln Community School (LCS) in Accra on Saturday.
This year’s conference which witnessed more than 500 participants- teachers and headteachers from across the country was on the theme: “Belonging”.
The theme: “Belonging found expression in the Ghanaian wax print “Kwadusawuo” or “Bunch of bananas” which reflects individual single bananas intricately weaved and grow together.
Dr Adutwum said education continued to be a major pillar in the development agenda of the government and the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was investing massively in the sector to ensure that students received the kind of education that would enable them cope with the demands of the 21st century.
He said in addition, to providing the needed infrastructure, government was also focusing on teacher development since teachers were very critical in the attainment of quality education outcomes.
“Most of our children come from challenging environments and if we want them to have opportunities to be able to experience what the majority in other societies in the advanced economies were experiencing then we have to be creative by creating a different learning environment,” he said.
Dr Adutwum said the time had come for teachers to begin to look at diversity as part of schools and realise that the children were from diverse homes and create the environment that made them feel integrated.
The Head of School at LCS, Ms Lesley Tait explained that the choice of this year’s theme and the use of the wax print was to demonstrate how belonging helped each member of a group developed together.
She said just as the banana never grew individually by itself, so it was that no individual could develop all by him or herself, stressing that “Like the Kwadu, those of us, all of us in the hall this morning that work in education know that together we can achieve anything that we put our minds on.”
She said at the LCS, together they were working to ensure that students experienced a sense of belonging in the classroom everyday.
Ms Tait said the education environment had changed a lot across the world with the focus changing from teaching to learning.
“Schools and Education systems have survived a worldwide pandemic like none that we have even seen before. With online learning in education becoming the norm,” she added.
Some of the topics participants were taken through were, ‘Powerful Literacy Teaching Through Inquiry and Play’, ‘Creating and Atmosphere of Mathematical Thinkers’, and ‘Supporting Struggling Readers and Writers’.