DAMBAI COLLEGE OF EDUCATION (DACE) BUILDS LEADERSHIP CAPACITY OF STAFF
“Leading from the Middle for Improved Learning Outcome and Success for All”
As part of the College’s effort to build the leadership capacity of staff and improve performance at all sectors of the College, DACE has organized a two-day leadership capacity building workshop for all leaders in the College. The workshop which was held on Monday, 21st March, 2022 and Tuesday, 22nd March, 2022, took place at the Oti Regional Coordinating Council’s Conference Hall with fifty-one (51) College Leaders, six (6) Education Officers from Krachi East Municipal Directorate of Education and a representative each from Oti SHTS and Yabram SHS, giving a total of 58 participants.
The College organised the workshop with co-sponsorship from Transforming Teaching, Education & Learning (T-TEL) through the University for Development Studies. Participants of the workshop included the Principal, Vice Principal, College Secretary, Finance Officer, Auditor, Librarian, Heads of Departments, Heads of Units – Stores, Security, Quality Assurance, STS, Students Affairs, Academic Affairs, Hall Wardens, Guidance and Counselling, Estate, Sports and Games, Research Works, TLM Resource / RTP, IT, ICT, College Catering, Sandwich, Performing Art, and Academic Counsellors and all other workers who serve as leaders in various capacities in the College. Other participants were Representatives of Senior High Schools in Dambai and some officials from Krachi East Municipal Education Directorate of the Ghana Education Service.
In her opening address, the Principal of the College, Dr. (Mrs.) Benedicta Awusi Atiku praised the entire staff of DACE for their relentless efforts and support towards the development of the College. She added that the leadership capacity building workshop was the brainchild of the Academic Board. According to her, the coaching session was planned by the Academic Board as a result of the appraisal of works done in the previous academic year. The Principal therefore assured all participants of a refreshing coaching session which would culminate in efficient delivery of the College’s mandate at various departments and units.
Addressing the participants, the Director of Colleges of Education Affiliation Directorate of UDS, Prof. Ebenezer Owusu-Sekyere who was also the Rep of the Vice Chancellor at the workshop lauded the Management of the College for their visionary leadership in coming up with programmes that empower the staff to deliver appropriately at their various units of the College. He appreciated the inclusion of the GES Staff and SHS Heads in the leadership capacity building workshop. He advised that the knowledge gained from the workshop should be put to practice which would end up transforming the student teachers for the betterment of Mother Ghana.
Dr. Sam Awuku, an International Education and Development Consultant, Leadership Expert Key Advisor at T-TEL facilitated the 2-day workshop under the theme, “Leading from the Middle for Improved Learning Outcome and Success for All”. The core purpose of the training was to equip the participants with practical leadership expertise to enable them appreciate their core business as middle leaders and develop vision and action plans for their various departments and units to practically propel departments in fulfilling the institutional vision of Mother DACE.
In his opening remarks, the facilitator, Dr. Sam Awuku, indicated that “we must all continue to learn by collaborating and sharing our learning with one another.” He also expressed the need for one to learn and keep progressing until one gets to the desired position. He added that educators have the responsibility to remedy learners’ problems when they do not do well. Dr. Awuku continued by stating that “educators must take the blame if their students fail to do well because students are in school for value to be added to their worth, making them better people by the end of their training.” To achieve this, every action of the tutor should cultivate the habit of a learning culture among learners and leave positive legacies in their minds.
Dr. Awuku also remarked that since every staff contributes to the vision of the institution, no worker should be referred to as ‘non-teaching staff’. He added that the contributions of all workers in the college promote a learning cultured environment where every worker is concerned about the academic well-being of students. Speaking on the theme, “Leading from the Middle for Improved Learning Outcome and Success for All,” Dr. Sam Awuku opined that “the world needs leaders but not managers”. He also explained that a leader influences and facilitates by getting the right resources for the job to be done in order to bring the desired change and achieve the vision of the institution.
On the importance of leadership in the classroom, the facilitator said when teachers lead their classrooms well, management activities are reduced to the barest minimum, and learners take responsibility for themselves and identify their own gaps. Dr. Awuku explained that the national agenda for colleges of education in Ghana is “to provide highly qualified and motivated new teachers who can inspire their learners to achieve better outcomes in basic education”. Therefore, college leaders should think about what to do to help their departments; and in achieving that, they need to have a clear vision and mission which would align with the College’s vision and mission as well as the national agenda. The facilitator stressed the importance of integrity being part of every department. He again advised that stereotypical cultural norms about students should be reconstructed in order to bridge the barriers between learners and teachers.
Dr. Sam Awuku also said middle leadership in a college of education can be seen as “the influence of heads of departments, heads of units and tutors on members of the college communities to enhance teaching and learning with the goal of improved student learning and achievement.” He added that there are four types of middle leaders: Pedagogical Leaders such as Heads of Department; Team Leaders such as Supported Teaching in Schools (STS) Coordinators, Unit Heads and Quality Assurance Officers (QAO); Tutors with designated or a whole school responsibilities such as ICT Coordinator, Sports Coordinators; and Pastoral Leaders involved in student services, career guidance and counselling work.
The facilitator further indicated that leadership comes with great responsibilities, and the moral purpose of leaders in education is to make learners better than what they were before coming to them for training. Highlighting the responsibilities of middle leaders in the college of education, Dr. Awuku said the purpose of middle and senior leaders is to improve learning outcomes for all students. According to him, the key responsibilities of middle leaders in the college of education include leading pedagogical change by acting as models for pedagogical practice; vision and policy implementation; mentoring and coaching other tutors; appraisal of tutors and encouraging them to take up leadership roles; professional development; building professional and trusting relationships; and providing stable, safe and orderly learning environment.
The resource person indicated that the factors that determine the success of middle leadership comprise expertise, planning, team culture, resourcing, learning, research and publication. Dr. Sam Awuku also hinted that there is the need for every middle leader to create an intelligent department. He therefore ended his presentation by outlining the characteristics of an intelligent department. According to him, an intelligent department should have a clear vision and mission; engage in research and publication; observe gender equality and social inclusion; appraise staff performance and procedures; and support the professional development of its members.
In her closing remarks, the Principal of DACE, Dr. (Mrs.) Benedicta Awusi Atiku, on behalf of the College Management and Staff, expressed much gratitude to T-TEL for co-sponsoring the workshop, and to UDS, for all the administrative supports in making the workshop a reality. She also thanked the facilitator for extending his expertise on leadership to the Staff of DACE and their stakeholders. On behalf of the participants, she assured the facilitator and T-TEL as well as UDS of putting into practice, the new leadership expertise acquired from the workshop in order to drive the College to the desired destination.
The Director of Colleges of Education Affiliation Directorate of UDS, Prof. Ebenezer Owusu-Sekyere also expressed great appreciation to Dr. Sam Awuku and T-TEL on behalf of the Vice Chancellor (VC) of UDS for building the leadership capacity of the Staff of DACE, one of the six colleges of education affiliated to the University. He thus appealed to the facilitator and T-TEL to extend the coaching session to the other five colleges of education affiliated to UDS. He indicated that UDS, particularly the VC, is happy and cherishes the relationship that UDS has with DACE. Prof. Ebenezer Owusu-Sekyere ended his remarks by advising that all participants should let what they have learnt from the two-day leadership capacity building workshop have impact on what they do or practice. Certificates were awarded to participants at the end of the workshop.
SOURCE: DACE Editorial Board