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General News of Monday, 1 April 2019

Source: citinewsroom.com

First degree requirement unnecessary; provide learning materials first – GNAT

The Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) has described as superfluous, attempts by government make possession of first degrees the minimum requirement for teachers in the country.

The Association insists the move will yield no positive results if basic necessities are not provided.

Minister of State in charge of Tertiary Education, Prof Kwesi Yankah said the latest directive is to improve on the standards of education.

The various colleges of Education that have been upgraded to universities will be tasked to ensure that teachers deliver quality learning outcomes at all levels.

But, in an interview with Citi News, GNAT’s General Secretary, David Ofori Acheampong argued that the quality of education does not only lie with teachers but also other interventions by the government that ensure training of teachers.

“This requires a lot of work because you are coming into a new environment, you must be conversant with all that teaching is all about. You must have all the skills for teaching, the availability of textbooks – there is a whole lot of things that go into quality education delivery. In as much as we go ahead to raise the level of people who are going to teach in our schools doesn’t necessarily translate into improved education. No! Everything should be there; there should be continuous education of the teachers who practice.”

“They (teachers) must be exposed to technology. So when the teacher comes and he or she has the minimum qualification for teaching, there must be continuous professional development available to the teacher. The teaching should be exposed to new skills of teaching. If you leave him or her flat, he or she comes with the degree for ten years and you don’t offer continuous professional education, [it doesn’t end anywhere.], he added.

Why first degree?

As part of the Government’s strategic reforms of teacher education, the first degree will be the minimum requirement for teaching at any of the country’ s education system.

Prof Yankah said all the colleges of education to universities affiliated to the five public universities to ensure that teachers deliver good outcomes. This, the Minister explained, was done in collaboration with the support of the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development through the Transformation Teacher Educational Learning programme.

Prof Yankah said, “for institutional change and quality education to be effective, the Governing Council should be viewed as an important arena adding that these vital institutions comprised of personalities of integrity, managerial skills and quality interpersonal skills”.

The Minister stated that teachers education one key area of interest under President Akufo-Addo’s government to ensure that teachers were able to ensure quality educational outcomes in the various schools.

He said the National Teaching Council which had successfully steered the maiden Teacher License Examination, as provided by law under the Education Act of 2008 (Act 778) which would ensure that candidates acquire a professional license to prepare them for the demands of the National Teaching Standards.

“Our aim is to upgrade the capacity and improve on the quality of Teacher Training to position our teachers to be able to respond to our educational needs and ensure that the teacher is properly equipped to deliver a teaching and learning experience fit for the needs of the 21st century,” he stated.

Prof Samuel Famiyeh, on behalf of the Governing Councils, thanked the government for the confidence reposed on them and pledged to work according to their required mandate to improve education in the country.