ROLE OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRARTORS IN REVERSING THE LEARNING GAP CRISIS
Some teachers in schools in the Greater Accra region where the ‘try out’ of the
GALOP training took place have constantly complained of class size. According to
the teachers, the project could have greater impact if the number of learners in a class
was less (especially for Level 1 learners). For effective implementation of the GALOP
programme, great patience and dedication is needed on the part of teachers to drive
home to the Level 1 learners the basics in both Mathematics and English Language.
After all, this is the major aim of the intervention. How can this be so with over a
hundred learners in a Level 1 class? When schools resume and the assessment for
grouping is administered, majority of the learners will no doubt be in Level 1. As the
Ministry of Education is preparing to reopen the basic schools, this issue must not be
Teaching materials and curriculum content must be a top priority for managers of
education. Additional educational materials and resources are mostly in short supply.
School administrators need to find ways to make both existing and new resources
more widely and readily available. Perhaps, a resource center or clearinghouse that
could become an open access repository to make curriculum and teaching materials
widely available is key (National Academy of Sciences, 2011). It is worthy to note
that the content of the intervention project has been carefully designed to complement
students’ interests with relation to academic outcomes.
Through programmes such as ‘TraintheTrainer’, vacation institutes, and other
networks, school administrators should prepare the teachers very well. Training must
begin from the colleges of education, where targeted and differentiated teaching
approaches are added to their curriculum. According to Goss and Sonnemann (2016),
school administrators should “strengthen system-wide policies around targeted
teaching and provide practical support, with an emphasis on giving teachers time,
tools and training. Also, use analysis of relative student progress to inform system
priorities, resource allocation and needs-based funding policies”. More importantly,
there should be effective monitoring of teachers whose schools are under the project.
It is stated that 76,000 teachers from the targeted basic schools will benefit from the
project. The Ministry of Education has also given an indication of supporting the
districts within which the targeted schools exist. This is to enable them [the districts]
effectively oversee the implementation of the project.
Various approaches to engaged teaching and learning exist across the globe. School
administrators in Ghana could take a look for instance at Linked Learning, a statewide
initiative which, in the view of Darling-Hammond et al. (2014), integrates rigorous
academics with career-based learning and real-world workplace experiences. Burns
et. al (2019), further stress on the following:
a widely shared, well-enacted vision that prioritizes learning for every child;
instructionally engaged leaders;
strategies for hiring and retaining a strong, stable educator workforce;
collaborative professional learning that builds collective instructional
a deliberate, developmental approach to instructional change;
curriculum, instruction, and assessment focused on deeper learning for
students and adults;
use of evidence to inform teaching and learning in a process of continuous
systemic supports for students’ academic, social, and emotional needs; and
engagement of families and communities.
Without doubt, the intervention in itself is a great venture, but simmering issues could
cause a disaster if not mitigated now. In the light of this, school administrators must
not only see to the adequate recruitment and equitable allocation of teachers to all
schools in the country but also ensure the provision of educational materials and
resources in the schools.
Burns, D., Darling-Hammond, L., & Scott, C. (2019). Closing the opportunity gap:
How positive outlier districts in California are pursuing equitable access to deeper
learning. Positive Outliers Series: Research Brief Sept. Washington DC: Learning
Darling-Hammond, L., Friedlaender, D., & Snyder, J. (2014). Student-centered
schools: Policy supports for closing the opportunity gap. Policy Brief from
Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education. Stanford, CA: Stanford
Center for Opportunity Policy in Education. Retrieved from https://edpolicy.
stanford. edu/sites/default/files/scope-pub-studentcentered-policy. pdf.
Goss, P. & Sonnemann, J. Grattan Institute (2016). Widening gaps: What NAPLAN
tells us about student progress. Pages 1-62
Ministry of Education, GES (2020). All you need to know about Ghana
Accountability for Learning Outcomes Project. https://ges.gov.gh/portfolio/all-
National Academy of Sciences (2011). Challenges and opportunities for education
about dual use issues in the Life Sciences. Consensus Study Report.
Source: Phyllis F. Issifu