Delegates from 14 countries in Africa have converged on Accra for the ninth conference of the Africa Federation of Teaching Regulatory Authority (AFTRA).
The five-day teaching and learning conference is on the theme: “Unpacking teaching and learning in Africa for excellence”.
Participants include ministers of education from across the continent, regulators of the teaching profession, some members of the Diplomatic Corps and other stakeholders who will discuss and exchange ideas on best practices.
The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in a speech read on his behalf at the conference yesterday[May 30, 2022] by the Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, commended AFTRA for taking steps to actualise plans to make teaching a desirable and impactful profession through the establishment and enforcement of teaching standards, continuous professional development, values, attitude and practice.
He said the government had been supporting the National Teaching Council, the agency that regulates teaching in the country, to ensure professionalism through the enactment of appropriate legislation, as well as the provision of human and financial resources to enable the council to execute its mandate effectively.
At the continental level, the President said, the AU supported AFTRA in its effort to bring all teaching regulatory authorities together to develop and enforce common standards for the profession.
He mentioned the measures to include the Africa continental teacher qualification framework, the Africa continental framework for standards and competency, the Africa continental guidelines for the teaching profession and the Africa continental teacher mobility protocol.
President Akufo-Addo further lauded AFTRA for collaborating with the AU to organise the AU Teacher Prize Award in 2019, adding: “I am so proud that in the first two years, Ghanaian teachers took the topmost awards.”
According to him, adequate qualified teachers were key to educational delivery in every nation.
The COVID-19 pandemic, he said, had underlined the fact that teachers were irreplaceable, adding: “The incessant craving for teachers during the difficult times in the pandemic tells us that technology can be an enabler but not a replacement for teachers in our educational systems.”
The Minister of Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, urged teachers across the continent to refrain from teaching and learning processes that did not allow creativity in learners but rather made them passive listeners.
According to him, the highest level in learning was not comprehension or analysis but creation, saying: “If you want your educational system to transform members of your country, you need to have creative individuals."
Dr Adutwum said since the government had realised that gross memorisation would not help the nation achieve its national development goals, it had embarked on reforms to turn the situation around for better outcomes.
"Our current educational system has made our children good listeners, but they are not critiquing and questioning us as teachers. That kind of education cannot lead the transformation of Africa, and Ghana for that matter," the minister added.