Well-trained teachers key to education

The National,Wednesday June 15th, 2016

IT is the foundation that determines the height and the weight of buildings.
If the foundation is not laid properly or if the materials used are of poor quality, the building will not endure weight and the pressure thus may collapse.
Likewise, primary education is the foundation for higher education.
If we lay proper foundation at the primary level in terms of content knowledge will always determine excellent performance in higher level of education and even in the field.
One of the concerns raised by some educationists and other concerned citizens is the declining standard of math and science in our education system.
There are several factors that contribute to this but the major contributing factor is the lack of quality teacher-education, especially at the college level.
Firstly, primary school teachers colleges need to review and develop their curriculum to make it relevant with time and changes so it suits the educational needs of student-teachers.
They also have to weed out courses that are of no significant benefits at classroom situation and also in the field and give enough time for important courses.
Curriculum at colleges should be content-oriented rather than method-oriented especially for core subjects like English, math, science and social sciences.
There are mixers of year 12 students enter colleges every year. Some major in social science while others major in science and math. Thus, the college curriculum must cater for educational needs of student-teachers. To cater for different needs of student-teachers, colleges should increase duration of diploma programmes from two years to three years and incorporate matriculation programmes beside their courses.
Secondly, improve the in-service programme for field teachers.
I believe almost 70 per cent of primary school teachers are not capable of teaching upper primary math and science. Most students lose interest in math when they reach grade 9 or even 10 because they have not been provided a proper foundation .
Therefore, primary school teachers must be properly trained.