Induction of Beginning Teachers in Ghana:Principles and Prospects
A beginning teacher is a teacher in his probationary year. In Ghana, this is the first year after pre-service education. The need to provide support for the beginning teacher has become more necessary than before because there has been a drastic reduction in the ages at which most beginning teachers enter the service. Since students can now enter Initial Teacher Training College (ITTC) with Senior Secondary School qualifications, we now have situations whereby many very young entrants enter ITTCs at ages 18 or 19 years. This means they begin their teaching careers as early as the age of 21, very inexperienced in life, and therefore require a great deal of support. Even though teachers’ conditions of service in Ghana states explicitly that all employees of the service shall serve a probationary period of one year on first appointment and that all probationers shall be given every possible assistance by their immediate heads to enable them establish themselves in the service, very little is done to support the probationary or beginning teacher. In this paper the writer describes how probationers are treated and argues that the lack of policy document outlining the principles that should inform or direct teacher induction programmes in Ghana is a major inefficiency in the nation’s teacher education system.