Statement of the Problem

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Ghana is a developing country in Africa. It has been making efforts over the last decade to improve its education system in particular, to contribute to wider national development. The JSS system was introduced as part of a strategy to improve educational provision in the country (Report of the President’s Committee on Review of Education Reforms in Ghana (RPCRERG), 2002). The JSS constitutes a three-year post primary education system which replaced the earlier four-year middle school system. This structural development was followed by the introduction of the FCUBE initiative (GES, 2001) which aims to provide good quality basic education to all children of school-going age in Ghana. Head teachers are perceived as the principal instrument (RPCRERG, 2002) through whom leadership and management is carried out in schools. The introduction of new policies and subsequent changes place additional responsibilities on them so they need to be prepared for the new challenges. The changes in the education system in Ghana require highly-developed leadership and management abilities. However, there is no provision of formal pre-service training (PRESET) forheadteachers (Oduro and MacBeath, 2003; Oplatka, 2004; Bush and Oduro, 2006). Although all trainee teachers attend teacher training colleges (TTCs), there are no specific courses for those aspiring for leadership positions. Yet on completion of their programmes, some of them receive direct appointments to leadership and management positions in schools, especially in rural areas (Oduro, 2003). In-service training (INSET)/continuing professional development (CPD) courses are the only means for training headteachers. However, in most cases, only those in urban and semi-urban schools get access ... ... middle of paper ... ...es in the Ghanaian educational context. However, none of the recent studies has explored ways of preparing and training headteachers, especially those at the JSS level. Oduro and MacBeath’s (2003) case-study focused on traditions and tensions in educational leadership in Ghana, while the work of Oduro (2003) examined the perspectives of the primary school headteachers in one district on their role and professional development. The studies conducted by Dadey (1990, cited in Harber and Davies, 2002) and Abbey (1989, cited in Harber and 6 Davies, 2002) highlighted the problems faced by secondary school headteachers in Ghana, but Hobson et al (2003) argued that the problems facing headteachers are a function of many factors, including the school phase. Thus the problems facing JSS headteachers in Ghana and their professional development needs are an under-explored area.

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