Mendive. Revista de Educación, April-june 2020; 18(2):430-444

Translated from the original in Spanish

The preparation of the secondary teacher for professional performance in the Ghana Republic


La preparación del profesor de secundaria para el desempeño profesional en la República de Ghana


Preparação dos professores do ensino secundário para o desempenho profissional na República de Ghana


Musah Mahama1, Juan Lázaro Márquez Marrero2

1 Municipio Walewale, República de Ghana. ORCID:, Correo electrónico:
2 Universidad de Pinar del Río "Hermanos Saiz Montes de Oca". Cuba. ORCID:, Correo electrónico:


Received: 21 de enero 2020
Approved: 28 de febrero 2020



Secondary education, especially within its compulsory period in Ghana, aims at promoting the fundamental development of the individual. This being so, the extension of the compulsory education and the establishment of a basic and common education for all the citizens necessarily implies a non-selectivity principle and its non-discriminative condition. This means the implementation of a curricular inclusive arrangement that offers various learning opportunities and experiences to all the students. This is why we consider teacher training is a key element, for it can provide our teachers with the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary so they can engage in the inclusive process. This article is a review on both the catering for diversity in secondary education as well as on the teacher training process which is held responsible for offering that educational answer.

Keywords: basic education; preparation; professional performance.


La Educación Secundaria y, especialmente en sus años de obligatoriedad en Ghana, tiene como objetivo fundamental promover el desarrollo integral de la persona. Por consiguiente, la extensión de la enseñanza obligatoria y la definición de una enseñanza básica y común para todos los ciudadanos, propia de esta etapa, lleva necesariamente aparejado el principio de no selectividad y el carácter no discriminatorio de la misma. Esto supone la puesta en práctica de una ordenación curricular integradora capaz de ofrecer oportunidades y experiencias diversas de formación a todos los alumnos, y de actuar como mecanismo compensador. Por ello, y sin sobredimensionar su importancia, la preparación del profesorado (tanto inicial como permanente), debe ser un elemento clave para dotar de conocimientos, habilidades y actitudes a nuestros profesores, con el fin de abordar el proceso integrador. El presente artículo presenta una visión crítica de la atención a la diversidad en la educación secundaria obligatoria, y la preparación del profesorado que se ha de responsabilizar en dar esa respuesta educativa.

Palabras clave: educación básica; preparación; desempeño profesional.


O ensino secundário, especialmente nos seus anos obrigatórios em Ghana, tem como objectivo fundamental promover o desenvolvimento integral da pessoa. Por conseguinte, a extensão da escolaridade obrigatória e a definição de um ensino básico e comum a todos os cidadãos, próprio desta etapa, implica necessariamente o princípio da não selectividade e da não discriminação. Isto pressupõe a implementação de um currículo inclusivo capaz de oferecer diversas oportunidades e experiências de formação a todos os estudantes e de funcionar como um mecanismo compensatório. Por isso, e sem se sobrevalorizar a sua importância, a preparação dos professores (inicial e permanente), deve ser um elemento fundamental para proporcionar conhecimentos, competências e atitudes aos nossos professores, a fim de abordar o processo de inclusão. Este artigo apresenta uma visão crítica da atenção à diversidade no ensino secundário obrigatório e da preparação dos professores que devem assumir a responsabilidade de dar essa resposta educativa.

Palavras-chave: educação básica; preparação; desempenho profissional.



Attention to diversity in Basic Secondary, especially in its compulsory section in Ghana, is a subject that is generating a great deal of controversy, due to the complexity of giving a coherent response to the heterogeneity of students, since certain democratic values are not fully assumed by society and the educational system.

From our point of view, the answer to diversity (cultural, social, gender, linked to factors intra and interpersonal, associated with disability or giftedness, interests, motivation, etc) must be understood within the continuum of responses established throughout the educational system to guarantee everyone's rights to education and equal opportunities, especially when at this stage the academic and professional future of the students is at stake.

The reforms in the teaching sector, since the late eighties, are identified in the structure of their training, quality problems. It is sustained that improving education and professional learning opportunities for future teachers is a crucial step in the transformation of schools and improved academic to the student. Drawing on experiences from other contexts, it concludes that study is the need to improve knowledge and teaching skills which guarantee to every teacher be able to teach students in a more diverse way, so the teacher has to be a knowledgeable about the student learning, and skilled in the craft of teaching (Henaku & Pobbi, 2017, p.57).

Teachers are the core of the quality of learning outcomes in children (Barendsen & Henze, 2019, p. 1175), which makes the quality of the teacher exerts the most important influence on the academic growth of the students. Accordingly, significant efforts have been made in the past three decades to ensure that Ghanaian teacher production meets national aspirations and international standards. The main changes in terms of curriculum structure are introduced from the introduction of pre reform of the tertiary education in 1987.

Various policy interventions are committed to improving the quality of teachers who graduate from our suppliers of the teacher training. This includes attempts at a structural transformation in the education system and to considerably improve quality teaching and learning opportunities, infrastructure delivery, as well as management efficiency (Ow usu, Opoku, Dagba & Amankwa, 2018, p. 106). For e example, the sector has seen the alignment of contextual educational needs with the usual lines of the professional development of teachers; The first and oldest  of the Schools of Teacher Training , now Schools of learning (CE) aimed at teachers produce for primary or elementary school (kindergarten, primary and secondary).

The other line has to do with the production of second cycle teachers or high school, vocational and technical training of schools and colleges. Through time there were other sector reforms to increase accessibility and quality, include to those without diploma in Basic Education, program for teachers who have not received an initial teacher training, service programs designed to improve the preparation of active teachers, and distance education programs to ensure the continuity of the teacher training process throughout life.

More recently, there has been transformation in the teacher's formation and learning in order to improve their preparation through the 40 centers that exist in the country, providing the necessary support for professional development under his leadership, management and curricular evaluation, among others.

Initial teacher education is provided by 45 public and private schools of education and five public universities in Ghana and there are six routes to becoming a primary or secondary school teacher in the country. They include:

1. Three (3) years of diploma in basic education for primary school teachers (kindergarten, primary and secondary) of teachers in schools of education.        

2. Two (2) years of post- diploma in Basic Education for teachers of the basic school. Certified Basic Education Diploma is a prerequisite for potential entry.        

3. Four (4) year degree (Example: B.Ed., BSc Ed) and second basic cycle for school teachers.        

4. A two - year diploma program in basic education (based sandwich) for teachers who have already acquired the certificate of initial professional teacher "A" (Example: 3 years of post diploma of secondary schools).        

5. Four years of Untrained Teacher's Diploma in Early Childhood (UTDBEC), a program for teachers who have not received initial teacher training in early childhood education.        

6. One professional year Diploma in Education (PGDE), program for teachers or graduates without qualifications related to education.        

Initial teacher education programs for basic and secondary education include: professional studies; studies related to the teaching of subjects through all the stages of primary age (5 to 11 years) and teaching practice (Afiba, 2017, p.169).

The effects of the training programs  staff are teaching three types: expand the knowledge of the teachers of the subject to a level considerably beyond what is likely to be taught in schools; provide students with a general understanding of the basic principles of teaching the school curriculum and familiarize students with practical approaches to instruction and assessment commonly used in primary and secondary education , thereby purporting to provide pre-service experiences of the school teachers , to improve their understanding of the curriculum and develop effective strategies for classroom instruction and assessment. In this sense, we aim to theoretically systematize the preparation of the secondary school teacher for that of professional performance in the Republic of Ghana.



Since September 1987, the Government of Ghana has launched a New Educational Program strategically oriented to make education more accessible to all school-age children, improve the equity and quality of education as a whole, and make education more relevant to the country's socioeconomic needs.

The purpose is to equip the child with tools that allow him to live a productive and meaningful life. Since reforms began it has introduced a number of special programs to address the specific problems and enhance the process of teaching and learning (Akyeampong, Djangmah, Oduro, Seidu & Hunt, 2007, p.15).

The overall objective of education is to play a dynamic role in the development of the nation. Despite the tremendous evolution and progress in the teacher education sector, there are significant concerns about its quality. For example, the minimum entry requirement for teacher training institutes is pre university, with credits on English, Ghanes, Mathematics and Science.

However, there is deep concern about the arithmetic of Ghana's high school graduates, especially the report that many trainees possess, given the weak background knowledge, which in turn undermines their confidence and ability to teach effectively. Effective even after completing teacher training begins. The study suggests that most beginning teachers just getting together the qualifications on Mathematics and English, with less than 30 % of those who claim to possess degrees in category A (Excellent), B (very well) or C (well) in English and / or Mathematics. This is due in part to the fact that schools are unable to attract the best qualified candidates in an academic way (Armah, 2017, p.3.

Baah, Cornelius, Borbye & Amoaddai (2019) provides that a great part of the debate on teacher education in Ghana has focused on expanding access to teacher training, resulting in withdrawal of normalists, in order to allow the  Education Schools (CE) to admit more applicants. While access policy may address the problems of high teacher ratios in the system, a broad consensus recognizes the need to address quality challenges beyond increasing enrollment and updating teacher education institutes with diploma awarded in the institutions. (Baah Duodu et al., 2019, p.9)   

One of the challenges is the disparity between professional values and knowledge required of a master of the XXI century and those who are among the teaching population. For example, a report of a Project funded by Transforming Education and Learning Masters, has observed that the diploma in the basic education curriculum does not adequately prepare trainees to teach in the schools in Ghana.

The curriculum has a limited connection to the real - world needs of teachers. After completing their training program, they enter a profession that is perceived at a lower level than other professionals who are recognized as highly qualified. Teacher professional development is generally low and questionable. Salaries are not based on classroom performance or the impact on student learning, but on credentials and years of teaching (Baah Duodu et al., 2019, p.9) 

The legal framework of education

The Republic of Ghana Education Act 1961, updated in the 1992 Constitution established the policy of free and compulsory primary and basic education, education for all school-age children. This law also provides for the establishment of private schools to increase the efforts of the government to provide enough schools to meet growing demand for education, especially at the basic level. This led to the creation of the Private Schools Unit at the Ministry of Education in August 1973 (Ghana's Constitution of 1992 with Amendments through 1996).

In 1983, the government published Law 42 of the PNDC to modify and strengthen the Education Law 1961, updated in the Constitution of 1992. The Government stated that without the provision of basic education would be impossible to meet the challenges of the global context, which would make the country unsuited to the current circumstances of the environment, leaving the state without the most essential human resources for social development (Ghana's Constitution of 1992 with Amendments through 1996).

Ghana since the return to constitutional government in January 1992, has established institutions for the promotion and socio - economic advancement. The 1992 constitution states that: The State shall provide educational facilities at all levels and in all regions of Ghana, and shall, to the extent possible, make those facilities available to all citizens. The Government must prepare an implementation program within the next ten years for the establishment of free, compulsory and universal basic education.

The State shall provide equitable access to basic and balanced Secondary and other appropriate pre - university education or equivalent with emphasis on science and technology; a free adult literacy program, free vocational training, rehabilitation and resettlement of people with disabilities, and lifelong education.

Basic education

Ghana's Constitution of 1992 establishes the right of all children, regardless of ethnicity, religion, gender and geographic location to basic education, which includes six years of primary education, followed by three years of Secondary Education; At the end of 9 years of basic school, a certificate of basic education is awarded.

Exam (BECE)

According to the new education policy for basic education in Ghana, the students of the  Basic School 1-3 ( inferior to Primary) study five subjects, while those at the Basic School 6/4 study six subjects. Additionally, all the students of the Basic Schools are taught Physical Education, Music and Dance as part of their physical activities.

Basic Secondary School 7-9 (Junior High School), students study nine subjects to 10 subjects if  French (an optional subject) is offered in a particular school. These issues are brows able both internal as externally; In addition, life skills are taught Physical Education, Music and Dancing they are not examinable internally.

Subjects available for study 7-9 (Basic Secondary School)

English, Language / Culture of Ghana, Mathematics, Social Education, Science, Agrarian sciences, Prevocational skills, Pre Skills techniques, French (optional), religious education / moral, Life Skills, Music and Dancing they are examinable internally and Physical Education.  (Kwabena, Oppong & Amponsah, 2019, p.5)

Students who complete Basic Education can enter a Technical Institute or an Upper Secondary (pre-university) where they take three- year programs. Graduates of higher secondary may proceed to the University for undergraduate courses or for Polytechnic courses for the Higher National Diploma (HND); or for any of the other tertiary institutions to train for the careers of your choice.

Others may also go to technical institutions for technical courses. Those who complete the courses can proceed to the polytechnic for HND courses. Graduates of polytechnics can enter any of the universities for degree courses.

The pedagogical preparation process of the elementary school teacher

The concept of preparation has been used throughout the historical development of society, as well as in an educational context in which it reaches a significance of vital importance with the historical-social context in which man develops, having as a basis the needs that are in correspondence with each historical moment.

In the educational context, the preparation of teachers is a concern of society; the profession of teaching requires constant, systematic and permanent renewal and the educator requires constant appropriation of the main results achieved in the pedagogical framework.

Many are the authors who have dedicated themselves to the study of the term preparation, in a general sense, and of the preparation of teachers in a particular sense, among which we find authors such as: Aguiar (2018), Sánchez (2018), Contreras (2018), among others, which defend the necessary transformation of teachers in order to develop their functions. These authors have made outstanding contributions to the process of preparing teachers.

The term preparation has been approached by different authors. According to Luis Bombino & Jiménez (2019): " Teacher preparation constitutes an essential element for the development of knowledge, skills and competences within the framework of the profession, always in response to the needs of the members of a dynamic and changing society that is made echo of its time and its history".

In this sense, it is vitally important to achieve a theoretical- methodological preparation by teachers, which is systematic, continuous and that encourages the independence of creative pedagogical thinking, leaving aside the schemes. In other words, a teaching preparation oriented to a specific end through methodological work, that responds to the needs of the students and that does not only cover the learning of new content, say knowledge and skills, but also consider the personal characteristics of the same (Luis Bombino & Jiménez, 2019, p.1).

According to Miranda González et al. (2018):  

The object of pedagogy aimed at training and development of beings humans in their preparation for life and, in particular of Sciences of the Medical Education is related to lifelong learning and continuous professional health in their different specialties and levels of professionalization (skilled worker, middle technician and graduate). This is achieved from the development of the professionalization of teachers as tutors in the care area, reflected in the development of their skills in professional pedagogical performance.

This interpretation is known as "pedagogical preparation" and led the authors to theorize about the performance category "(Miranda González et al., 2018). Añorga (1999) defines it as "a permanent pedagogical process that integrates the educational and instructional activities and actions carried out by education professionals, in order to improve professional performance and which will be carried out at times when they participate alone or in the collective " (p.7). These authors approach preparation as a process with a permanent character, based on social needs in order to improve as an professional education l.  

Cáceres Mesa et al. (2003) on the other hand conceives "as the ongoing process of acquisition, structuring and restructuring of knowledge, skills and values for the performance of the teaching profession. Teacher training is continuous; it is carried out throughout the entire teaching practice, taking this practice as the structuring formative axis" (p.4). 

In the other hand, Sánchez raises the need for "a differentiated and specialized preparation where collaborative work among them prevails; as well as dialogical communication with specialists from other sectors, who interact in the comprehensive care of the student they serve". (Sánchez, 2019. p. 214)

Lemus, Lameda & Téllez (2019) for their part consider that:

The preparation of teachers in Primary Education is carried out through the systematic methodological work developed by the governing bodies in each center, which includes multiple methodological activities in terms of pedagogy, methodology and science. This is organized, planned and executed taking into account the particularities of the pedagogical group. This indicates that the well-defined diagnosis of each teacher allows them to be given attention and follow-up on the main deficiencies in teaching, but also makes it possible to solve the problems they have, through the necessary methodological activities of each one in the performance of their daily work. (p.2)

Reimers & Chung (2019) conceives the preparation of the teacher as:

A long - term process spanning the entire career of the teacher and does not develop fully in a single program formation teaching, but results of an ongoing process which should include the following elements: suitable selection gives teachers, incentive, initial preparation, career plans, induction and support throughout the entire professional career. A process that characterizes teaching as the result of a system that offers supported recruitment policies, preparation, induction, mentoring, professional learning, feedback, teacher recognition, career development, and leadership. (p.38)

The concept of preparation is defined by Añorga (1995) as a "process of organizing training for the performance of labor and community resources that allows them to achieve professional and human improvement of people and their environment" (p.56). In it, the author links the term preparation to training, to the performance of labor resources and to professional improvement.

The preparation of teaching staff, in general, is carried out in initial and ongoing training, through self-improvement activities organized in Higher Education through postgraduate courses, diplomas, master's degrees and others. Lifelong learning plays an essential role in the development of society, which is why priority is given to preparing human resources in general and teaching staff in particular.

Currently, the training of teaching staff is a priority that responds to the context in which they carry out their practical work; which means that each territory, based on its own needs, potentials and aspirations, has the possibility of designing, executing, controlling and evaluating its preparation system in accordance with the general objectives of the educational system.

Other concepts closely linked to the preparation are those of improvement and professional improvement. Castro, Conill & Estevez Árias (2019) assume that " Overcoming the teachers reaffirmed in the context contemporary as a social phenomenon and, given its general nature, transcends other areas of the developing human, constituting an imperative derived from its status first order as an educational agent, assigned by society" (p.129).

For Medina González & Valcárcel (2015) "The improvement is a gradual process that occurs throughout life, developed through it significant learning not only valid for exercising a professional or business activity but also for social, family, civil and even life, for the daily life of people; all of which requires the harmonious connection of preparation and improvement at work" (p.1).

Medina González & Valcárcel (2015) state that the teacher's professional development must respond to the transformations that are required not only in knowledge (updating) but also in skills and behavior, their needs, potentials, life projects and needs of the educational system from the concrete historical context. Professional improvement is an important way to improve the professional, in correspondence with the changes that occur due to socioeconomic development, and the attention to teacher improvement is particularly relevant, due to the characteristics of their work in their social and socialize role. (p.14).

Bernaza, Troitiño & Lopez (2018) state that professional training is essential to the great transformations of scientific, technical and innovative knowledge. (p.7).

García, Mena & Conill (2018) affirmn:

The permanent education of the teacher constitutes a set of training processes that enable the graduate to acquire and continually improve the knowledge, basic and specialized skills, as well as the ethical-professional values required for a better performance of their responsibilities and functions as a teacher with a view to its integral cultural development. As can be seen, it is understood as a continuous process of formation throughout life (p.8).

The preparation of the teacher of primary school in the Republic of Ghana

The preparation of the teachers from the objectives of the Curriculum in the curriculum addresses:

The preparation of teachers from the objectives of the curriculum in the curriculum has as characteristics:

Teacher training from the curriculum objectives in the curriculum is developed through the following subjects: English, Mathematics, Ghanaian Language and Culture, Integrated Sciences, Environmental and Social Studies, Technical Skills, Pre- professional Skills, French and Religious Studies.

The Educational and Professional Studies courses are designed to work on the professional needs of students. The Practice Activity Courses such as Music and Dance and Physical Education are also intended to prepare the student for effective subject management at the basic level. However, the General Studies Courses (Communication and Study of HIV / AIDS Education and Introduction to Information Technology) must be developed by the student in a personal way (Mensah, 2019, p.17).

The role of the elementary school teacher in the Republic of Ghana

The teachers play various roles in the lives of students in Ghana. The classroom is often the first place to find a teacher in a school and plays an important role after parents mold students. Teachers in Ghana are encouraged to handle their students with affection and courtesy.

Beyond that, teachers are carriers of dissimilar skills in the classroom. They set the tone for their classrooms, create a warm environment, guide and educate students, become role models, listen and look for signs of trouble.

Know the teaching methodology

The most common role a teacher plays in the classroom is to teach children knowledge. Teachers are given a curriculum that they must follow and that matches state guidelines. The teacher follows this curriculum so that relevant knowledge is delivered to the learner throughout the year. Teachers teach in many ways, including lectures, small group activities, and hands-on learning activities.


Teachers also play an important role in the classroom with respect to the environment. Students often imitate the actions of a teacher. If the teacher sets up a warm and happy environment, students generally tend to be happy. An environment established by the teacher can be positive or negative. If students feel that the teacher is angry, students may react negatively and therefore learning may be affected. Teachers are fully responsible for social behavior in their classrooms, which is a reflection of their actions and the environment and sets.

Model to follow

Teachers generally do not view themselves as role models, yet they are inadvertently so. Students spend a lot of time with them, and therefore the teacher becomes a role model. This can be a positive or negative effect based on the teacher. Teachers are there not only to empower children, but also to love and care for them; they are often highly respected by people in the community, making them a role model for students and parents.

Students generally closely monitor the teacher's life. Therefore, a teacher should maintain a good set of manners and try to be a role model. This not only helps students to adopt it, but also increases their respect for the teacher. Vital roles teachers play in the lives of students, they are best known for the role of instructing students who are under their care.


Tutoring is a natural role assumed by teachers, whether intentional or not. This can also have positive or negative effects on children. Mentoring is the way a teacher encourages students to strive to be the best they can. This also includes motivating students to enjoy learning. Part of mentoring is listening to students. By taking time to listen to what students are saying, teachers impart a sense of belonging in the classroom to students. This helps build their confidence and enables them to want to succeed.


Another role that teachers play is a protective role. Teachers are trained to look for signs of difficulty in students. When student behaviors change or physical signs of abuse manifest, teachers are required to investigate the problem.  The procedures of the authority when it comes to monitor any signs of problems must be followed.

Teachers should encourage the student wellness program, sports, tutoring, etc., during normal school days; even educational trips should be included in the school life of children. The student's point of view should always be considered once before the teacher applies his opinion about them. A teacher must give adequate encouragement to students. Children should feel free to address any question related to the topic or career they have in mind (Asare Danso, 2017, p.4).



The preparation of the teacher of Secondary School in the Republic of Ghana is conceived as   pedagogical process that develops during the initial and continuing formation through an activity system in which the teachers' appropriate knowledge, procedures and attitudes in correspondence with the needs related to the context and their profession, in order to improve their professional performance.

Since the objectives of the Curriculum in the curriculum aims to : produce (form) General teachers are able to teach in an interdisciplinary way ; to produce (train) specialized teachers capable of teaching specific subjects such as Mathematics, Science and Techniques ; produce (form) teachers who have a clear understanding of the expected results of teaching, who are experts in monitoring, diagnosis and appropriate to provide equal opportunities for all students and promote a close working relationship between the Colleges of Education and local schools through the "Out" component of the program.

The teachers of Basic Secondary play several roles in the lives of students in the Republic of Ghana, among which are: To know the teaching methodology, to be an educator, to be role models, develop the tutoring and be a counselor and create a warm, guide and to educate students, listening and looking signs of problems to solve them.



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