Clearing The Doubts: First Degree and BEd. Basic Education – Part 1
Any University/University College degree such as Bachelor of Arts(BA), Bachelor of Science(BSc.), Bachelor of Education(BEd.),etc. issued at the end of an entire course/programme to people who do not already have a degree is referred to as First Degree.
For instance, if one completes Senior High School, and gains admission to read an undergraduate/entry-level programme (a four year degree programme) in Chemistry, such a person will be awarded,at the completion of the programme, a BSc. Chemistry as a first degree because that is his initial degree.
He may proceed to doing a second degree which we normally call Masters in that order,and this applies to all others in respect of first degree.
_Bachelor of Education(BEd.)_
Bachelor of Education(BEd.), just like other undergraduate programmes(BEd., BA,) is an example of a first degree. But in this sense,an educational programme.
For example, if one gains admission to study _BEd. Mathematics,_ it means he will be studying Mathematics in general but in an educational domain (for any classroom if need be). Such a fellow would also be perfunctorily enrolling under,exemplifying UCC, the Department of Mathematics and ICT Education.
In slight contrast, a colleague of the above cited who gains admission to study _BSc. Mathematics and/Statistics_ will be studying Mathematics in its own context, and not specifically for the classroom but for other Maths fields or avenues. And such a fellow would be,still referencing UCC, enrolling under the Department of Mathematics other than the Department of Mathematics and ICT Education as illustrated in the former. But restrictions in academic disciplines in relation to job prospect are ever changing. Likewise, some people with this very degree may be fortunate to find themselves in the classroom.
_BEd. Basic Education ( Post Diploma in Basic Education)_
This is also a first degree if one has not been awarded any degree with respect to it. It is a foundational degree in education, specifically and by name, Basic Education, for people who wish to teach in the Basic School(KG,Primary,JHS, and SHS 1 as is being gradually implemented with regards to the new Pre-Tertiary Education Policy).
As such, an SHS graduate who enrolls directly to read this course,as is done currently in the Colleges of Education, and irrespective of his major or minor course, will be awarded a BEd. Basic Education Certificate at the end of the four years which offers him the chance to teach from the KG through to SHS 1 as clarified earlier.
And even though such a student, upon completion, is awarded a BEd. Basic Education Certificate, he is awarded with specificity in either Early Childhood Education, Primary Education or Junior High School Education.
Now a holder of a Diploma in Basic Education (DBE) who wishes to get a degree in Basic Education, does the same programe like the SHS graduate. But since he already holds a Diploma which is the basis of the same degree(degree in Basic Education), the stipulated number of years (4 years) is reduced for him to usually 2 years.
The Special 1 year BEd. Basic Education
Since the Diploma in Basic Education Certificate is gradually fading out as a result of the Colleges of Education running a full time BEd. Basic Education programmes,and the policy to have teachers with a minimum qualification of a degree in Basic Education, or employ only degree holders in education at the Basic School level from 2022 onwards, a restructured Post Diploma in Basic Education programme is being enrolled for DBE holders to upgrade themselves to meet this requirement.