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Acquire professional certification or forfeit appointment — Council

BY: Augustina Tawiah
Filed photo
Filed photo

The National Teaching Council (NTC) has given all in-service non-qualified teachers up to 2024 to get themselves trained as teachers, else the law will kick them out of the classroom.

“By 2024, if you are not a trained teacher, you cannot be allowed to practise,” the acting Director, Licensing and Registration of Teachers at the NTC, Francis Kwasi Addai, said.

The NTC defines non-qualified in-service teachers as persons who are already in the system as teachers in both the public and the private sectors but do not have teacher education certificates.

The Education Regulatory Bodies Act, 2020, Act 1023 does not allow anyone into the classroom to teach without a licence.

In an interview with the Daily Graphic in Accra yesterday after the launch of the in-service non-qualified teachers licensing sensitisation programme, Mr Addai accordingly advised all in-service non-qualified teachers in both public and private schools to register on the NTC portal so that when the council started the training, they could participate in it to enable them to obtain temporary certificates to practise as teachers.

The sensitisation programme, which has started in the Greater Accra Region and will end on July 21, 2022, will be replicated in the other regions.

“We want all teachers to be trained. Just like other professionals, if you have not been trained, you cannot practise,” he stated.

Temporary certificates

Mr Addai said after the sensitisation, a five-week training programme to be held on weekends would be organised for the non-qualified in-service teachers, after which they would be assessed and then issued with temporary certificates to practise for one year.

Those temporary certificates, he explained, were renewable on a yearly basis for two more years.

He said the expectation was that while having the temporary certificates, the teachers would enrol in teacher education programmes to enable them to get themselves trained to become full qualified teachers to practise.

“So all non-qualified in-service teachers in both private and public schools are supposed to attend this sensitisation programme to listen to what we have. They should also register on our portal, so that we get their data on our system and go for the training when it starts,” he advised.

Licensing of teachers

Giving a background to the sensitisation programme, the Deputy Registrar at the NTC, Lawrence Sarpong, said the NTC, as the body mandated to license all teachers in the country, started the exercise to license teachers in 2018.

Mr Sarpong, who was speaking on behalf of the Registrar of the NTC, Dr Christian Addai-Poku, said so far it had successfully licensed close to 300,000 teachers nationwide, saying the moment had come to turn its attention to non-qualified teachers to issue them with temporary certification in fulfilment of the law.

He said the programme was also meant to collect data on the number of non-qualified teachers in the country.

Mr Sarpong clarified that the licensing of teachers was something that was going on not only in the country but globally.

“Over the years, the International Federation of Teaching Regulatory Forum has been trying its best to ensure that teachers all over the world are licensed.

“In Africa, we have the Africa Federation for Teaching Regulatory Authorities, and at a conference held in Ghana recently, the focus was to license every teacher in Africa, so that when a teacher moves from one country to another, his licence will be valid to enable him to teach there,” he stated

He advised non-qualified in-service teachers to take advantage of the opportunity being given them to get the temporary certificates, so that they could practise without harassment or being in breach of the law.