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Factors Militating Against Literacy Application Among Teachers

A unique characteristic of the new curriculum in pre-tertiary education in Ghana is the integration of digital literacy and ICTs into teaching, learning, and school leadership. This marks the first time since the country’s independence in 1957 that such an ambitious intervention is being implemented in our education system. Generally, there is recognition among teachers and school leaders that Ghana needs to embrace this innovation as an important way of transforming education and ensuring the relevance of our educational products both locally and globally. However, several factors are hindering the successful rollout of this laudable and meaningful intervention.

Lack of Confidence Among Teachers

Key among the factors is lack of confidence in ICT usage and application of digital literacy
among some teachers. Although almost all teachers and school leaders welcome the
intervention as a sine qua non for improving teaching and learning, some teachers lack the
needed confidence to use the tools and the apps for learning. There are those who have very
little or no idea at all about the use or application of these resources, tools and apps. Others
also have some half-hearted functional knowledge with regard to the use of these tools and

The problem, however, is that these categories of teachers lack the confidence to use or
integrate these resources in the classroom. They fear to make mistakes. Others feel threatened
that some of their learners who have adequate or proficient use of these resources might
ridicule them. There are those who also fee insecure and shy to share their inadequacies with
their much resourceful colleagues who can offer them support. Eventually, they do not use
these tools or resources as they find it difficult to overcome their inadequacies. This category
of teachers require confidence boosting interventions such as capacity building to adequately
prepare them for the use of these resources. 

There is also the need to formally deploy the critical friendship systems in our schools. With the roll out of the critical friendship systems, teachers can be encouraged to learn from trusted and resourceful colleagues. This way, they can boost their confidence in the use and application of these apps and resources in the classrooms. Organizations such as the Ghana Society for Education Technology [GSET], a leading cutting-edge ICT and digital literacy solution provider for schools and the education space, will have to upscale their activities by collaborating a lot more with T-TEL and agencies such as the NTC/GES/NaCCA to address some of these emerging issues. They will have to identify these issues as priority ones that require attention.

Transitioning from Social to Educational Use

Another factor is the inability of some teachers to make the transition from the use of ICT
and digital literacy for social functions to its use in teaching and learning. Evidence abounds
that thousands of our teachers and school leaders explore the internet and the social media
regularly for activities other than teaching and learning. Many teachers are active in the social
media space. These include Facebook, X, Telegram among others. Others also use the
internet to download information for preaching, business, health education and news.

There are some teachers who download You tube videos just for the fun of it. Other teachers make use of some apps for things other than teaching and learning. There are those who use the
apps, social media and the internet in general to learn some skills in vehicle maintenance,
plumbing, fashion design, painting, report writing and communication. Other groups of
teachers attend remote meetings using zoom, Google meet among others. There are those
teachers who also make use of the internet and apps at home to either teach or do home work
for their children.

All these functional uses of the internet, apps and the social media notwithstanding, some of
these teachers are unable to replicate the use of these apps and resources in their formal
classrooms. To some of these teachers, the selection of learning resources and apps in the
classroom is their challenge. Others also are ignorant about transitioning from social media
buzz and razzmatazz to its use for teaching and learning in the classroom. This segment of
teachers requires skills in learning resource identification, security and efficacy, download
and use in the classroom. This is where the role of critical friends, colleagues and service
providers is required. Service providers can organize fee-free Webinars and pay-as-you-go in-
person workshops for some of these teachers.

Difficulty in Locating Subject-Specific Apps

Another serious factor that is militating against the successful roll out of ICT integration and
digital literacy in the schools is the inability of some teachers to locate subject-specific apps.
Although some of these teachers are willing and prepared to use these apps and resources in
the classroom, their ignorance of the availability and location of these apps is what hinders
them from using them. Some teachers have no idea about apps in their respective subject
areas. They are unable to locate the much-needed resources in their subject areas. For these
inadequacies, such teachers abandon the idea and the zeal of using these resources for
teaching and learning.

To address this challenge, the NaCCA, NTC and GES should leverage the PLC sessions to
expose the teachers to generic and subject-specific apps and resources that can be of help to
the teachers. This will require that the PLC Coordinators should be trained in the application
of these apps and resources for teaching and learning. This suggestion is more opportune
considering the fact that plans are afoot to roll out the PLC Handbook 3 for
SHSs/SHTSs/STEM schools in May 2024. Ahead of this roll out, subject-based PLC training
sessions are being planned. It will, therefore, be appropriate to consider some of these issues
in the training of the PLC Coordinators who will then go to train their colleague teachers in
the respective subject areas.

Teacher Preparation and Motivation

The success of the new curriculum depends so much on the preparation and motivation of
teachers. This change can only bring about the needed transformation in education when the
teachers who interface with the learners and the learning resources and environment are
themselves adequately prepared and motivated to embrace the change with confidence and a
sense of motivation. There is therefore, the need to invest a little more in teacher motivation.

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1 thought on “Factors Militating Against Literacy Application Among Teachers”

  1. Good write-up there. Motivation to use ICT resources must be whipped among teachers. In addition, some of these resources need the use of data and it is only a personally motivated teacher who can use his own resources to do this things.

    But, I want to find out if it’s a researched paper or writers own views. If it’s a researched paper then literature should have been reviewed.

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