Examining the professional skills of basic school supervisors in GA South Municipallity of Ghana

Dzikum, Evans Agbeme (2015) Examining the professional skills of basic school supervisors in GA South Municipallity of Ghana. Doctoral thesis (EdD), University of Sussex.

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In the last two decades, the global community and government of several countries have made heartening investments in promoting access to education in developing countries. It is estimated that since the reaffirmation by world leaders and development community to achieve education for all by 2015 in Dakar, Senegal, governments and donors have invested about US $ 15 billion annually in education. Despite the huge financial investments, empirical evidence shows that education outcomes remain low among school children in developing countries and key stakeholders in the education sector identified weak and ineffective supervision as one of the major factors responsible for the low educational outcomes. This study therefore examines the professional skills of school supervisors in ensuring effective teaching and learning in Ghanaian basic schools. Using the Ga South Municipality as a study area, I specifically explored the professional backgrounds of school supervisors, examining their recruitment and training processes, field experiences, and how they apply their professional knowledge to the school supervision process.

Employing a purely qualitative case study approach under pinned by the concept of social constructivism, I engaged 7 school supervisors, 5 teachers/headteachers, 2 directors of education and 2 PTA/SMC members. I used in-depth interviews, observations and documentary reviews as the methods of data collection. The study made the following findings:

With regard to the professional background and qualification, the supervisors who participated in the study are well qualified and experienced in the field of education. They are all trained professional teachers with over 10 years of classroom teaching experience. They also held Bachelor’s Degrees; however, not all of them have pursued degree programmes in the field of education. Majority of them specialised in fields such as political science, sociology, human resources management, psychology, and history – and none had received any formal training in education administration or supervision.
The supervisor recruitment process is characterised by the phenomenon of neo-patrimonialism where political and traditional authorities use their influence and power to mount pressure on education officials to select their preferred candidates (mainly party faithfuls) as supervisors. Any resistance from an education director is interpreted as seeking the downfall of the political head and his or her administration. In terms of skills training, there is no formal pre-service and in-service training (INSET) programme designed to enhance the professional development of supervisors in the skills of supervision. Supervisors were reliant on peer training and support (both skills development and material) from non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to build their professional capacity. Training provided by NGOs were governed by their philosophies or that of their donor partners rather than the sector policies of the Ministry of Education and GES. The study also revealed that even though supervisors have the knowledge in the field of education, they are deficient in the ‘technical’ and ‘interpersonal skills’ necessary for effective supervision in schools. There is also a general lack of material resources necessary for efficient supervision of schools.

Based on these findings as a whole, the study recommended an intervention in the form of a comprehensive policy to govern basic education supervision; the initiation of education supervision training programmes in pro-education specialisation tertiary institutions such as the University of Cape Coast (UCC) and the University of Education Winneba (UEW); and a clear framework to control and coordinate the activities of NGOs working in the field of education management and supervision in Ghana.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Education and Social Work > Education
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1025 Teaching (Principles and practice)
L Education > LG Individual institutions (Asia. Africa. Oceania) > LG401 Africa > LG480 West Africa > LG497 Ghana
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2015 14:08
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2015 13:17
URI: http://srodev.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/54462

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