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Armed Forces Sec/Tech School

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Armed Forces Sec/Tech School
The Armed Forces Senior High Technical School was established jointly by the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Education in 1978. The school started as a Junior Secondary School in 1978. It was upgraded in 1982 to a Secondary Technical School (now Senior High Technical School). It exists to take care of the dependents of soldiers, Ministry of defence civilian employees and the civilian neighbours within the catchment area of Burma Camp. The average age of students is eighteen (18) years. The curriculum for the Senior High Schools in Ghana does not have essential skills integrated into it. However, the Accelerator programme has added a fulfilling dimension to students’ academic achievement.
Overall impact
Our main objective for completing the Accelerator programme was to equip both teachers and students with the essential skills. We can say with all certainty that our objective has been achieved. This is because students’ confidence levels have significantly improved and they are more aware of the skills. The school authorities are very excited and have commented on students’ ability to speak publicly.
Keep it simple
Our first workshop organised in the school was to introduce all the teachers and non-teaching staff to the eight essential skills, their importance and underpinning principles. This workshop and the subsequent workshops brought a lot of enlightenment to the teaching staff, as they were able to devote a lot more time to studying these essential skills. Efforts were made to display the essential skill icons in every classroom, the library, in laboratories,... to raise awareness to the entire student body. Teachers used both online and offline material resources to always have a better understanding of the skills and how to teach them with ease. Daily lessons were tailored to focus on specific skills.
Start early, keep going
Form 1s, 2s and 3s are learning the skills. The official secondary curriculum does not have any link to the teaching and learning of the essential skills however the workshop sessions and teacher coaching sessions helped the teachers a lot in integrating the essential skills in their daily lesson plans. Learners developed their skills right from the morning assemblies, and the skills were referenced in other school gatherings.
Measure it
The teachers received training from our Skills Builder contact, Hannah, on how to use the offline assessment tool. Students’ progress in skills was regularly determined through monitored and planned assessments. Online assessments weren’t possible because of the internet challenges.
Focus tightly
Teachers integrated the essential skills into their daily lesson plans. Our school offers both technical and vocational programmes and the method of teaching and learning for these students is mostly through practical means. These practical approaches easily enable students to prioritise the development of the essential skills. The use of formative assessment modes was regularly used to track the progress of learners in their skill development and inform teaching.
Keep practising
The secondary school curriculum prescribes that learners are tasked to do a lot of project activities. This provided opportunities for students to keep practising their skills.
Bring it to life
The school is a technical school. Students are able to apply the skills through their creations (e.g. in practical, manufacturing lessons, cooking,...) in technical and vocational activities. Students are told the skill stage to focus on during activities. Teachers relate the skills to students' environment and community work. Since teachers started tracking learners' progress in essential skills, this approach has encouraged learners to apply the skills in real life situations.
What's next
Teachers of Armed Forces Senior High Technical School want to first and foremost consolidate the gains made so far and enrol again to the Accelerator+ Programme. We wish to be assisted in extending this great programme to other Senior High Schools. We shall be grateful if we could be supported both technically and financially to extend this knowledge by way of organising training workshops for senior management members of education in Ghana on essential skills.