29 March 2016

Teachers Undergo Phonics Training

93Twenty eight teachers and four staff members of the Ghana Education Service (GES) have benefited from a two day English phonics training workshop to help improve teaching of English phonics in the New Juaben Municipality.

The programme, dubbed Systematic Synthetic phonics, requires an approach of teaching phonics gradually so that children can confidently develop their English language.

The participants were drawn from the lower primary level of some selected basic schools in the municipality.

The programme was organized by Phonics Ghana, a Non-Governmental Organization(NGO) which focuses on improving teaching techniques with funding by Novan Education, an NGO.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA), Mr Martin Lodziak, a United Kingdom volunteer with Village by Village, an NGO and an English teacher, said the training have become necessary as research conducted by the USAID and GES in Ghana have shown that, only two percent of pupils in class two could read fluently and understand the English language.

He said there are many factors which can contribute to this situation saying if teachers have the skills of teaching phonics and the ability to teach English language, it will boost English literacy rate in the country.

Mr Lodziak said it is vital for the children to understand English language at an early age because the text books they read as well as their examinations are in English.

He said the participants were taken through what phonics means and looked at some of the phonics skills, such as decoding, encoding and blending sounds of words.

The participants were also taught how to do a model phonic lesson and Early Grade Reading Assessment (AGROTEST), to enable a teacher to access the reading improvement level of a pupil.

Ms Abena Gyamera, Training Officer at the New Juaben Municipal Education Office, said the constant practice of the phonics coupled with some improvement in the syllables will help improve the reading and the understanding of the children in English language.

She sai, it will also encourage the teachers to do more child centered learning, where the children themselves will participate more in the classroom.

Mr Miracule Gavor, Chief Executive Officer, Novan Education Training, said so far 65 teachers have benefited from the programme, which has reached more than 450 pupils in their various schools in the New Juaben Municipality, Asuogyaman District and the Akuapem North Municipality.

He said the core target of the programme is to get the pupils to be fluent in the English language and also afford the teachers a new approach of teaching English language that is result oriented.

Ms Augustina Oduro, a participant and a teacher of the Freeman Methodist Primary School, called for the need to make phonics a subject to ensure easy teaching and understanding of the English language.


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