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Professional Learning Communities (Plcs): A Teacher’s Observations & Recommendations For Improvement

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Over the last 5years, Ghana through the Ministry of Education has introduced several educational interventions reforms geared towards improving educational quality, accessibility and carrying along with it, programmes to support teacher professional development. A notable intervention which is fast flying with many schools and educational establishments in Ghana is the Professional Learning Communities (PLC).

Ghana Education service (GES) is an agency under the Ministry of Education, serving as the only public employer of teachers in Ghana, and responsible for overseeing the implementation of various policies regarding teacher’s continuous improvement and development. They do this by collaborating with various agencies such as the National Teaching Council (NTC) and the Ghana TVET Service. Like all other interventions regarding teachers, the GES is responsible for ensuring at all schools from Grade 1 through the Senior High School observe and build PLCs as a culture providing the platform for continuous improvement of teacher’s teaching and learning approaches and strategies for continuous improvement. 

Professional Learning Communities are school-based, or cluster-based gatherings of teachers to share their knowledge, discuss new educational policies or reforms and strategies for teaching and supporting learning efforts in their classrooms. Following the introduction of the Standards-Based Curriculum in basic schools (Grade 1 to Grade 9) in Ghana and subsequently the Common Core Curriculum across all Senior High Schools, Professional Learning Communities (PLC) have become a valuable tool in implementing these curricula. PLCs have since provided a structured and more collaborative approach to professional development, allowing teachers to collaborate with colleagues through the sharing of ideas, resources, best practices, and gaining new perspectives on teaching strategies, sharing best practices, and receiving feedback aiding them to identify areas for improvement and making necessary adjustments in their teaching. PLCs also offer the opportunity for teachers to make informed instructional decisions to develop targeted interventions to support student learning. I love to call it professional development led by teachers for teachers.

Additionally, PLCs provide a space for teachers to reflect on their teaching practices and adjust as needed to meet the needs of the students. Overall, teachers should view PLCs as a key component in helping them navigate and successfully implement the current curriculum.

Between November 2023 and April 2024, I have had the privilege of visiting some schools within the Cape Coast Metropolitan area in the Central Region of Ghana. Below are my observations and recommendations to School Leaders, Policy Leaders, and my colleague teachers.


  • I have observed most school leadership have made conscious efforts to institutionalize PLCs as a school culture, which is great. However, I have also noticed teacher’s attitude depict PLCs as activities they must participate in to avoid any form of queries from leadership rather than a conscious effort to learn from colleague teachers, learn new strategies to improve their teaching approach or even find interesting ways of integrating technology into their teaching and learning. 
  • Whilst I have observed Senior High Schools have a more structured approach to PLCs by following a handbook which guides related activities throughout a school term, same cannot be said for basic schools (Grade 1 to 9) thus teachers tutoring Classes 1 through to the Junior High Schools. This is worrying because this may create an environment that does not inspire teachers in the long-run to participate further in PLC-related activities.
  • I have also observed that there’s no or little discussions about strategies targeted at integrating technology into teaching and learning. Considering that the new curricula hinge largely on the promotion digital education and integration into teaching and learning across all subjects, PLCs should prioritize these discussions to fast-track the realization of the curriculum goals for its implementation.


Having identified these key challenges in the implementation of PLCs, the following are my recommendations to teachers, School Leaders, and Policy makers:

  • There should be more efforts to educate teachers on what PLCs should be ideally and emphasize how PLCs contribute to their overall professional development as professionals, and how their active participation benefits colleagues, learning outcomes and their various school communities.
  • Basic schools (Grade 1 to 9) need a more structured system for how PLCs are organized and implemented. PLCs should address more, the needs of teachers and not general conversations that are possible about teacher professional development. I recommend to the Ministry of Education (MoE) through Ghana Education Service and all supporting partners to spearhead the design, and implementation of similar interventions for basic schools to strengthen the foundational development of our learners before they advance to the secondary education level.
  • Schools need more experts to support their efforts in organizing or even leading discussions around digital technologies integration into teaching and learning. Whilst most schools are terrorized by infrastructure issues to support digital integration, there are low-cost interventions that could be employed in the interim to drive meaningful learning. Schools need technical support to begin this journey. This is why I wish to recommend to MoE to bring together the necessary resources to make this possible.

It is my hope that my perspectives will inform current and future efforts in improving the PLC programmes for teachers in Ghana across all levels.

I am a proud teacher and working hard to improve education whilst strongly advocating for the integration of technology into teaching and learning because the possibilities are endless, and the benefits are not quantifiable. 

For God and Country!

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4 thoughts on “Professional Learning Communities (Plcs): A Teacher’s Observations & Recommendations For Improvement”

  1. Bakin Sherifatu

    I teach at the Kg level and am the curriculum leader of my school, please how do I run the PLC session effectively?

  2. Samuel Agbaglo

    This is a very interesting and thought provoking piece and very relevant. As outlined above, the PLC and now the impending Departmental Professional Learning Community is very important as the Pedagogical Strategies coupled with digital or technology can aid in transforming teaching and learning in Ghana.

    Relevant technologies for transformation should be deployed early and timely so as not to delay the full benefits that learners should derive from this policy to elude them.

    This policy can is rather promoting learner centre approaches and rather reducing the work on teachers and should be propelled by the teachers who are currently behaving as laggards.

    With time, everyone would come on board.

    Thank you!


    Very laudable. I support all you said. Especially on the note that attendance of PLC sessions must not be posed to teachers as threats but rather a cordial way of smoothly moving from the old system of not all but mostly lecture methods of teaching to activity base and total involvement of learners.

    I add, the kind of learners the SHS, SHTS & TVET schools receive over the years to assist through studies is bad on the average that to drive home the new curriculum so well, admissions must be streamlined as before not everyone who want to go to school should be found in school.

    Most of the learners i persona had conversation with over the years spoke to me and said they were not interested in school, they were forced to come hence it is a worry to him.

    We must agree that most of these free SHS learners will be very good in apprenticeships if they are allowed and guided rather than forcing them into a system they do not fit.

    Thank you
    (A teacher in one of the SHSs)

  4. Isaac Owusu-Ansah

    Most teachers are still of the view that PLC is just a repetition of what they learnt at the Colleges of Education. But they forget that they are new ways of doing the old things.

    They are not ready to unlearn, learn and relearn.

    More education on PLC especially from our Teacher Unions can help some colleagues to change their minds.

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