The Institute for Education Studies (IFEST) base on research findings has called for special attention to be given to the psychosocial needs of teachers in the country during this period of the outbreak of covid-19 the global pandemic.
The study conducted between 10th March and 11th May 2021 IFEST in a statement copied to EducationWeb.com.gh said puts the spotlight on the teachers and assesses the perceived effect of Covid-19 on their professional life.
“We collected data using both paper and online questionnaires, responses from 4480 teachers in both public and private basic and secondary schools across 10 regions and 80 districts in Ghana,” the Institute for Education said.
Proposing how the psychosocial needs of the Ghanaian teacher can be Prioritise by the government through the Ministry of Education (MoE), the independent policy and research institute said;
1. Ministry of Education (MoE) and Ghana Education Service (GES) should strengthen their employee welfare and support systems and modernise them to meet the challenging needs of the teacher in these times. That is, special psychological care should be given to those teachers that are most vulnerable to the impact of this pandemic so that they could better cope with this crisis, and consequently perform better in their teaching role.
2. Teacher unions should also be interested in providing psychosocial support to their members. This can be in a form of a brief get-together, social trips, encouraging text messages, and random visits from leadership to members during school hours to interact with them.
3. GES should review the Continuous Professional Development (CPD) day and Professional Learning Communities (PLC) to make it robust in addressing the specific needs of teachers in specific communities. IFEST proposes the merging of the two activities and the adoption of the time-tested Communities of Practice (CoP) model to serve the needs of the teacher.
4. IFEST recommends that the National School Inspectorate Authority (NaSIA) should continuously train school inspectors in modern supervisory techniques that reflect the changing dynamics of this time to enable the teacher to perceive the school inspector as a partner in improving the teaching and learning process.
5. Teacher welfare issues go beyond financial assistance, to the provision of safe and conducive teaching and learning environment. MoE and GES should take stringent efforts to improve the school environment to make them relatively stress.