The Centre for Child Development Research and Referral (CCDRR) of the University of Cape Coast has held a workshop to train teachers from Primary Schools in Cape Coast.
The training workshop was held to equip the teachers to identify and assist pupils with reading and handwriting challenges in the classroom. It was on the theme “Effective Teaching Strategies for Handling Children with Reading and Handwriting Difficulties in an Inclusive Setting.”
The participating Schools were Ola Presbyterian School, Archbishop Amissah Catholic School, Okyeso Catholic Basic School, and Emmanuel Methodist Academy.
The Headmaster of Ola Presbyterian School addressed the teachers saying, “The Ministry of Education, through the National Teaching Council (NTC), has developed a framework called the National Teachers Standards to guide training for the teaching profession.” He explained that the National Teachers Standards necessitated that a teacher should improve his professional abilities through lifelong learning and continuous personal development. “To do this, you must identify the knowledge gap you have and train to fill that gap. You must also stretch yourselves beyond the normal textbooks we use in our schools to assessing the library and the internet, as well as consulting experienced practitioners in the field.” He noted that the workshop was important as it formed part of continuous professional development.
Mrs. Martha-Pearl Okai, an Educational Specialist with the Department of Education and Psychology at UCC, presented strategies for teaching children with reading and handwriting problems. She indicated that based on numerous researches, it had become clear that most children with learning disabilities had reading problems. She also noted that research had indicated that most children in the basic schools had problems with reading.
Mrs. Okai further noted that interactions with some of the teachers also indicated that handwriting seemed to be a challenge with most of their pupils in the classroom. She went ahead to demonstrate how teachers can assist pupils with reading and handwriting problems.
Mrs. Rebecca Affrah, from CCDRR-UCC, also briefly presented on pandemic and its impact on learners with disability. She pointed out that deaf and blind children faced an enormous challenge in communication due to the social distancing protocol. She said they required tactile language where they needed touch to communicate with others. She explained that such children with disabilities including autism and behavioral disorders, needed more attention due to the pandemic. She urged the participants to teach their pupils with a disability how to wear the nose mask, practice safe distancing, hand washing, and hand sanitizing. She suggested that the teachers should use creative, and attractive-looking posters that encourage their pupils to practice the pandemic protocols.