Exploring the Staff Development Challenges and Strategies at Agogo College of Education, Ghana
Ghana’s current educational reform mandates the country’s Colleges of Education to churn out teachers who have the requisite knowledge, skills, personality and other dispositions for the total development of pupils. However, in order to perform this duty effectively there is the need to put in place policy measures that support the implementation of this new paradigm. One such policy measure is in the area of staff development at the colleges. This paper therefore explored the challenges Agogo College of Education faces in respect of its staff development as well as the strategies that can be adopted to bring about improvement, with the use of exploratory and descriptive research design. Using the census data collection method, the 33 Tutors at the College were all involved in the study, with questionnaires and interview guide as the research instruments. The data were analyzed using both qualitative and quantitative analytical techniques. The study observed that academic staff members of the College were not involved in staff development decisions made in the institution. It was also found that favoritism influenced decisions on staff development at the College. The duration for staff development at the College was found to be too short. Other staff development challenges at the College included poor institutional sponsorship for staff development, financial constraints, inadequate support from government, as well as the non-existence of effective staff development policy. The strategies to deal with the existing staff development challenges include the establishment of autonomous unit in charge of staff development, and the College using part of its internally generated funds to sponsor its staff development, proper collaboration between the College and other institutions of higher learning. Others are attaching improved conditions of service to staff development, using well organized and regular on-the job training as an alternative to institutional education staff development, by involving personnel in staff development decisions, and by ensuring fairness in the award of scholarship for further studies. The study recommends that the College should put in place a comprehensive policy document on staff development program in order to ensure fairness, consistency and collaboration within the institution. The College should make staff development programs an integral component of its strategic agenda by first establishing an independent Staff Development Unit to fully take charge of staff development programs without fear or favor, and also devoid of favoritism and influence. It is also recommended that the government should pay equal attention to all the personnel at the Agogo College of Education when it comes to the award of scholarships for staff development.
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