Refresher courses for teachers key to education outcomes

Teaching is without a doubt one of the most significant professions and without it the world would be nothing worth living. Teachers have over the years been at the forefront of any nation’s development as they train the human resource that serves in various disciplines.

However, building capacity in teachers is normally neglected in one way or another, which could result in unpleasant education outcomes. To address this gap, teachers ought to get refresher training once in a while.

Why refresher courses?

Learning is a gradual process and therefore teachers must learn a lot more to be able to continuously respond adequately to the changing requirements of learners such as their background, aspirations and learning styles.

Pontian Kabeera

Formative assessments were introduced to obtain feedback on teacher pedagogy and classroom effectiveness and not for grading children, much less for failing them. A well-structured career progression plan will only surface when there has been thorough teacher training or teacher capacity building, which in turn will lend credibility to the profession. 

Many factors have greatly impeded good learning outcomes, among them the quality of teacher training. These vary across classroom environments. There are factors that contribute overwhelmingly in one environment but with insignificant influence in another. It is therefore important to note that investing in teacher’s training may holistically change the situation at hand.

One may say he is a teacher but to me, beyond that they should aspire to become transformative mentors.

Follow up and feedback must be incorporated in the current model of teacher training mainly because the skills acquired during training may not readily apply in a classroom environment. Instead, there is need to be transformed into an individualised form to match students’ learning styles; the more reason for teachers’ refresher training.

A deep-seated teacher training will be important for professional growth among the teachers and will enhance good and quality education outcomes. There are good teachers out there but they need to improve as well. Some teachers tend to abscond from their responsibilities and therefore should be reminded of their role as mentors. The contemporary teacher training is still traditional, so teachers need to improve and visit other places to see how education is administered.

This will stop rot learning which only help one to achieve good grades but contradicts with the real meaning of the contemporary education which is geared towards creativity, innovativeness and problems solving.

For this matter, teacher training should be highly emphasised in order for that change to happen. The refresher courses can be a wake-up call to remind teachers of their teacher roles and enhances their professional ethics which in the end will improve their performance and thus quality education. 

Teachers need training in order to improve service delivery in terms of self-expression. Some teachers have the material, but they can’t put it to good use, but with these trainings they gain the skill and confidence to bring out the content better.

Some teachers lack the skills in classroom management, which is so essential for effective learning, but once teachers get that exposure and training, it will improve competence and enhance the learning process, hence better education outcomes. 

The writer is a lecturer at University of Kigali.