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Opinions of Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Columnist: Robert Oppong

Be a citizen not a spectator: Conversion of Public Colleges of Education into University colleges

In fact, we must applaud His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo for making education a priority. However, the haste conversion of public Colleges of Education into university colleges of education needs to be given second consideration.

I am not comfortable with the introduction of 4year Bachelor's degree in Basic Education at the College of Education in Ghana. These and many questions merit serious public discourse.

1. Will the government continue to pay "Allowance" to the trainees for the 4-year at the College?

2. If government will be charitable enough to pay allowance to the Colleges what happens to those at the Universities? Will they also receive "allawa"?

3. Will the trainees from the Colleges be posted?

4. If they will still be posted what happens to university graduates with Bachelor's degree in Education?

5. What happens to the various Distance Colleges of Education that run Post diploma programmes?

6. Will the conversion of colleges into university colleges and the subsequent introduction of degree likely to put distance programmes in total shambles?

7. Are we going to have significant number of prospective applicants applying to the College of Education to the detriment of Universities?

8. Will Colleges increase enrollment or maintain the quota system?

The brain behind this policy according to the minister of education and his cronies is to prevent situation where teachers leave classrooms to do top-up programmes mainly degrees.

This could have tremendous effect on the quality of teaching and learning. Without any doubt it is true. Thus, the introduction of 4-year Bachelor’s degree in Basic Education at the Colleges of Education to curb such irregularities.

9. Brilliant idea to keep teachers in class to ensure effective instructional period but aside this can’t we consider other possible means to tackle or keep teachers in classroom? The ministry could have strengthened the existing policies that allow teachers to serve a number of years before doing any any top-up.

Appropriate sanctions could have been meted to those recalsitrant teachers who disobey this directive.

10. We are in a country where teachers who are holding masters earn nothing to their salaries yet we are in haste to make Basic qualification for teaching 'first degree' what then is the teachers’ motivation to do masters? Will GES accept and promote teachers when they present relevant masters qualification at the basic and second cycle institutions?

Personally, I suggest that authorities and significant others as a matter of urgency must subject this policy to serious scrutiny to give it a merit it desires.

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