‘Licensure examination to improve skills, produce quality teachers’

BY: Gilbert Mawuli Agbey
 Prof. Kwesi Yankah, (arrowed) distributing educational materials to new school pupils at the Nsaba Islamic Basic School.
Prof. Kwesi Yankah, (arrowed) distributing educational materials to new school pupils at the Nsaba Islamic Basic School.

The government’s decision to introduce the first-ever teacher licensure examination is intended to improve both the skills and quality of teachers across the country,  the Minister in charge of  Tertiary Education, Professor Kwesi Yankah,has said.

He stated that the move was to improve teaching and learning in schools since teachers would be certified professionally to enable them to discharge their duties as required of them in the classroom.

Prof. Yankah said as  “a country, we have decided to move with the rest of the world since countries such as Germany, Britain and the USA allow only teachers with professional licence to teach in their schools”.

My first day at school

Addressing some teachers during a visit to some basic schools in the Agona East District in the Central Region last Monday as part of ‘My first day at school’ programme, Prof. Yankah indicated that the newly introduced licensure examination was to enable every teacher to get a professional certificate to qualify to be employed by the Ghana Education Service(GES) to teach in the country.

He added that the country was part of a global network and that henceforth, every newly trained teacher would be expected to write the examination to be professionally certified to help improve the country’s education sector.

The minister, accompanied by the Central Regional Basic Schools Coordinator, Madam Perpetual Praise Amegashie,  and some staff of the district education directorate, visited the Agona Nsaba Islamic and Agona Duakwa AEDA ‘A’ basic schools to welcome new kindergarten and primary one school pupils formally to school.

He distributed learning materials such as pens, exercise books, crayons, erasers, white boards, among others, to the new pupils.

Initial brouhaha

Prof. Yankah stated that some teachers initially kicked against the examination due to lack of understanding of the entire examination and that after further engagements with the teacher unions, they came to realise the importance of the examination.

He noted that after teachers had been certified just like doctors, nurses and other professionals, they would be in a better position to demand better conditions of service from the government, saying  henceforth, teachers could speak with one voice to demand improvement in their welfare.

Prof. Yankah stressed that those teachers who were already in the service would be taken through rigorous in-service training programmes to upgrade themselves so that they could be issued with their professional licence.

New all-inclusive policy

The minister added that as part of measures to ensure that all children of school age were enrolled into formal school,  the government had introduced the policy dubbed: “no child is left at home” to increase enrolment in particularly basic schools.

Prof.  Yankah, therefore, urged parents to enrol their children into kindergarten at age four and primary one at age six since studies showed that such children exhibited exceptional academic brilliance in school.

Dedication to work

The Agona East District Director of the Ghana Education Service (GES), Madam Vida Amoah-Mintah, urged the teachers to be committed and dedicated to their work in order to augment the efforts of the government towards improving the education sector.

She pledged to put in the necessary efforts and interventions such as effective supervision and monitoring to tackle the falling standard of education in the district.

Low enrolment

A teacher at the Duakwa AEDA ‘A’ Basic School, Madam Juliana Adjoa Turkson, expressed worry about the low enrolment at the kindergarten level since the beginning of the 2018/2019 academic year, saying that only nine pupils had been admitted a week after reopening of school.

She attributed the situation to the absence of a school feeding programme in the school as parents were forced to enrol their children into nearby schools that were benefitting from the programme.