International non-profit, Right to Play has held a one-day training workshop aimed at equipping journalists and communication officers of the Ghana Education Service and Ministry of Education with knowledge for effectively reporting on play-based approaches in improving academic outcomes in basic schools.
The training which took place in Accra also highlighted the impact of Right to Play’s activities across its project regions; the Greater Accra region, the Volta Region, and the Northern region.
Lawrence Ofei, a capacity and training specialist at Right to Play said the organization sees its role as complementary to government’s efforts to improve the quality of teaching and learning across the country.
He said available data has pointed to several additional benefits to using play-based approaches and methodologies in schools including promotion of team work and helping pupils build leadership skills
“We are operating in 55 districts in three regions in Ghana. We are doing all this to ensure that we support government’s vision of providing quality education for learners across the country. Learners have challenges with regards to numeracy, literacy, reading, and other core competences that they need to develop in and outside school so we believe it is important for us as Right to Play to partner with the GES and government on this,” he said.
He added that through the organization’s work, there has been a drastic improvement in the number of girls holding leadership positions in schools.
“We’ve seen that girls are showing great skills. Because of the training that has been provided to our teachers, they are conscious of providing support and opportunities to our learners to aspire to be leaders in the school and now we are seeing more girls in leadership positions which wasn’t so previously.”
Right to Play holds regular training for teachers on the use play-based methodologies to provide exciting yet very educative means to teaching pupils.
Communications specialist at Right to Play, Austin Kwabena Brako explained that the organization considers the media as important stakeholder in achieving a nationwide adoption of play-based learning approaches in basic schools to improve pupils’ performance.
He said the use of play in schools have often been misconstrued as an ineffective way of teaching however evidence from the work the organization has done over the years points to significant improvement in pupil’s academic outcomes where play-based approaches are used alongside traditional teaching and learning methods.
“The misconceptions around the use of play in the classroom are many and this requires a direct response backed by relevant scientific data. However, we are aware that individual journalists cannot shift the tide of education coverage alone, particularly around the impact of play-based learning in Ghanaian classrooms,” he said.
In all, a total of 39 journalists and six public relations officers of Ghana Education Service and Ministry of Education from the Greater Accra and Volta regions, participated in the workshop on play-based learning pedagogy.
A second edition of the training will be held in the Northern region.