Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum (right), Minister of Education, addressing the press conference in Accra. Picture: ELVIS NII NOI DOWUONA
Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum (right), Minister of Education, addressing the press conference in Accra. Picture: ELVIS NII NOI DOWUONA

Committee probes teacher licensure exam failure

The Ministry of Education has set up a seven-member committee to look into the mass failure of prospective teachers in the Ghana Teacher Licensure Examination (GTLE) and provide solution to the problem.

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The committee, which is chaired by a Deputy Minister of Education, Rev. John Ntim Fordjour, has four weeks to submit its report to the ministry.

The other members are the Head of a Public College of Education, Prof. Samuel Atintonoo (Accra College of Education); the Head of a Private College of Education, Rev. Monsignor Louis Kofi Tuffuor (Christ The Teacher College of Education) and the Chief Director of the Ministry of Education, Mamle Andrews.

The rest are a representative from the colleges of education, Prof. Jonathan Fletcher (University of Ghana); a Professor of Testing, Prof. Eric Anane of the University of Cape Coast, as well as a representative of the National Teaching Council (NTC), Lawrence Sarpong.

Alignment

The Minister of Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, who said this at a press conference in Accra yesterday, noted that the committee would look at the extent to which the GTLE “is aligned to the National Teachers’ Standard (NTS) and other supporting policies or framework such as National Teacher Education Curriculum Framework (NTECF), Pre-Tertiary Curriculum and Pre-Tertiary Teacher  Professional Development and Management (PTPDM).

Again, he said it would look at the quality of students being admitted into the teacher education institutions relative to the grade and programme of specialisation at the senior high schools (SHSs).

Moreover, it would look at the selection process of students into the teacher education institutions and the possibility of integrating the GTLE into the teacher education institutions’ programmes.

The committee would examine “best practices and what works globally as well as make recommendations”.

2023 Licensure

Out of 7,728 prospective teachers who sat again for the GTLE in May this year, 1,277 passed.

The figure represented 16.5 per cent of the candidates who sat again for the examination.

All the candidates had sat for the exam at least twice, with some sitting for as many as nine times.

The release of the results led to an uproar over the performance of the prospective teachers.

This is especially when some of the examination scripts were leaked on social media.

Dr Adutwum said the ministry was determined to ensure that the country offered more opportunities to teacher trainees, adding that the examination was not for those who were already teaching but those “who want to enter our noble teaching profession.”

He said the ministry and the NTC had set up a process to ensure that, “we do our possible best to facilitate the process to ensure that there is alignment between the preparatory institutions (universities and colleges) and the NTC to ensure there is curricula alignment, assessment alignment and also provide preparatory materials for those who register to prepare for the examination.”

Sieve

The Registrar of the NTC, Dr Christian Addai-Poku, said the purpose of the examination, which began in 2018,  was to serve as a sieve that would help get the right calibre of people to teach in schools in the country.

“From 2018 to 2022, a total number of 145,050 candidates has sat the examination.

The 7,728 candidates who sat the 2023 GTLE are the 'remnants' of 145,050.

This shows that a greater percentage (95 per cent) of them had passed leaving this small percentage (five per cent) who are unable to meet the competencies in NTS.

The introduction of serialisation or items differentials prevented them from cheating,” he said.

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He said judging from the examination results, it was clear that some candidates were not fit to enter teacher education institutions in the first place.

Recommendations

To deal with the issues with the licensure examination, Dr Addai-Poku said the Ministry of Education was looking at a possible introduction of an entrance assessment as part of the selection process for teacher education admissions.

The ministry, he said, would support the NTC to strengthen its regulatory systems on teacher education institutions and to ensure compliance.

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