A spokesperson for the Ministry of Education, Kwasi Kwarteng has said he disagrees with the suspension of the teacher licensure examination.
According to him, the teacher licensure examination is a step in the right direction to improve standards and upgrade the dignity of the teaching profession.
Kwasi Kwarteng said it would help teachers acquire skills, knowledge, values and attitudes to meet national and international teaching standards to deliver effectively in schools.
“It is only a crop of well-trained, self-confident and contented teachers who can deliver the educated and skilled workforce we require to transform our economy,” he stated.
The licensure exam, after it was rolled out in 2018 by the Ghana Education Service and the National Teaching Council, was met with stiff resistance from some newly-trained teachers.
The majority of teachers who sat for the exams in March 2021 failed at least two courses in the exams conducted by the National Teaching Council (NTC).
The Minority in Parliament believes that the mass failure is a “demotivating and demoralizing attempt to frustrate the teachers before they assume duty.”
They want it suspended.
Below is full statement:
The solution to mass failure in an exam does not lie in abolishing the exams.
For quality and Standardization purposes, many professions and agencies use license systems to select individuals into their respective fields. All over the world the most efficient module used in this process is examination; whether written or unwritten (oral, physical or medical). For instance, in the enlistment of personnel into any of our security services, one will need to meet certain standards/test (Medical and Physical examination) before qualifying. The standard becomes even higher in the context of a teaching appointment where the prospective employee as part of his job requirement is to ensure the academic excellence of students through the imparting of knowledge and skills.
Against the backdrop of many institutions (Public and private) training teachers, there is the need for setting a common denominator in meeting the quality test hence the teacher licensing regime. The license system validates the legal authorization of the mandate of the NTC in indicating that a teacher has met all the minimum standards (knowledge, skills, values and attitudes, competencies and experience) necessary to deliver effectively in schools and protect the public through the enforcement of standards that restricts practice to qualified individuals who have met specific qualifications in education.
Suffice to say, the concept of the Professional Teacher License goes beyond standardization and quality purposes. It demonstrates the highest mark of professional accomplishment that makes the Ghanaian teacher a member of a larger network of accomplished educators shaping the teaching profession as well as human resources. At no point should the profession become the last resort for anyone who isn’t successful at his/her chosen career. Like in other fields, there must be that professional differentiator that sets our teachers at par with players in other disciplines/professions.
In view of the Global standards and recognition we aspire for, this exam is a matter of necessity. It cannot also be substituted with any other form of exam for that matter an internal exam. For instance, a school’s internal exam does not negate the relevance of exams like WASSCE within the context of ensuring proper educational standardization within the West African Region. Hence an effective teacher license system places a higher premium, value and integrity on Ghana’s education system thereby making our teachers and students globally competitive and recognizable. Recall we rode on the back of similar global recognition and goodwill to export Ghanaian-trained nurses to Barbados. With a good teacher licensure, we should be looking at leading the export of teachers in the Global space. It is possible!
Consequently, the solution to the failure of candidates in undertaking a professional exam does not lie in the abolition of such exams; we do not scrap BECE when students do not perform. Neither do we scrap WASSCE when students fail to perform. Rather the non-performance should serve as an opportunity to thoroughly evaluate and hold a broader conversation into the quality of education at our training institutions. Proposals for Educational reforms must be scientifically driven.
Spokesperson-Ministry of Education