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Politics of Wednesday, 16 November 2016


NDC has teacher first agenda-manifesto

President John Dramani Mahama President John Dramani Mahama

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) is promising to put teachers first in its next government to make the teaching profession attractive.

Teacher First Agenda’ policy, according to the party, is aimed at shooting education in the country to the next level.

In its 2016 manifesto, the NDC promises to provide accommodation for teachers who accept postings to deprived rural schools as far as practicable.

It said they will re-introduce incremental credit for Science, Mathematics, Technical and Vocational teachers (TVET) as well as support them to upgrade their skills.

The next NDC government, the manifesto said, will work with Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) and Coalition of Concerned Teachers (CCT) on exchange programmes for teachers.

It said the government will continue to issue financial clearance to employ more graduate teachers as and when appropriate and continue the expansion of the Untrained Teachers diploma in Basic Education (UTDBE) programme to further reduce the number of untrained teachers in the school system.

Already, the current government can boast of passing the college of Education Act, 2012 (Act 847) to upgrade Teacher Training Colleges to tertiary institutions and abolishing the quota system in the Colleges of Education to allow for all 38 public colleges of Education to admit at full capacity.

This policy has according to the government’s estimation led to an increase in enrollment in the colleges by 63.8 percent.

“Consequently, we are on course to eliminating the trained teacher deficit in schools thereby improving the quality of basic education”, it observed.

The NDC government says it has reviewed operations of the Student Loans Trust Fund to allow for teacher trainees to access the fund like their counterparts in the Universities and other tertiary institutions. It hinted that over 7, 100 teacher trainees have so far accessed the fund.

“We have launched the Secondary Education improvement programme that has a component for leadership support for Heads of Senior High Schools and special capacity and Information Communication Technology (ICT) teachers”, the manifesto stated.

Under President Mahama’s free laptop computers have been provided to over 50, 000 teachers since 2013.

It pointed out that it has implemented the Transforming Teacher Education and Learning (T-TEL) initiative that is a capacity and pedagogy improvement programme for colleges of Education.

“We successfully worked with the teacher unions to reduce teacher absenteeism from 27 percent in 2012 to 9.3 in 2015 with the view to improving quality and raising further the esteem of the teaching profession”, it averred.