By Tunde Osho
FBNBank Ghana Limited has partnered with 1million teachers, a social enterprise and Queen’s University, Canada to roll out teacher development programmes that would improve the quality of teaching and learning throughout the country.
The 1 Million Teacher project is structured as a continuous professional development programme that provides knowledge, infrastructure and the opportunity to form professional learning communities among teachers.
Speaking in Accra, the Managing Director of FBNBank Ghana, Mr. Gbenga Odeyemi, said the bank is pleased to partner with 1 Million Teachers and Queen’s University to offer world class teacher education in Ghana. They believe that investment in education is an important initiative that can change the world.
He added that FBNBank’s Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability activities is hinged on international best practices and aligns with the parent bank, First Bank of Nigeria Limited’s Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Policy Procedures that includes responsible lending and investments, people and ethics, environmental sustainability and community support.
Odeyemi stated that the education partnership forms part of the bank’s four key platforms of community support adding that not only does it come ahead of FBNBank’s CSR Week that would be commemorated from June 18 to 23 this year, but it also ties in with the bank’s resolve to support the country’s educational sector with funding through its FirstEdu product bouquet.
The Chief Executive Officer of 1 million Teachers, Hakeem Subair, said the objective of this partnership is to enhance education in Ghana and promote interest in the teaching profession, whilst motivating the embrace of teaching by younger generations.
Subair explained that with a smart phone, teachers can register for and participate in quality online training modules that take about 12 months on the average to complete. According to him, ‘participants progress through various levels or belts – white belt to black belt – getting badges as they achieve milestones. Attaining black belt triggers a host of benefits, including cash payouts and invitations to 1 Million Teachers programmes and events.’
Subair further remarked that the performance of teachers would be measured by their stakeholders. Teachers will be rewarded in relation to how well they positively impact their students’ outcomes. He said the ultimate goal for this project would be the setup of the 1 Million Teachers Centre of Excellence.
A Professor at Queen’s University, Faculty of Education, Professor Jane Chin was delighted that Queen’s University was part of the project. Queen’s has pledged to empower and support teachers with knowledge, infrastructure, content of the training modules and the facilitation and development of professional learning communities among themselves.
Professor Chin mentioned that Queen’s University was attracted to the project on account of the sustainability aspect. She indicated that the teacher training model can run for years adding that Queen’s University’s development of content for the training would factor in the goals of teachers and what they wish to learn in order to deliver its support in a relevant way.