The running mate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Naana Jane Opoku Agyemang has criticized the current mode of implementation of the teacher licensure examinations.
According to the former Education Minister, the NDC’s approach while in government was to use different means to administer the examination in a way to measure quality assurance but not to classify and weed out some teachers from the system.
“What I thought we could do was to use this as a measure of quality assurance because, at the tertiary level, we have the whole NAB but at the lower level I thought was more critical, we don’t have such quality assurance mechanisms…in which case it will not require going to sit down for three hours, doing some multiple-choice questions and when you pass, that is all,” she said in an interview on Citi TV’s Point of View.
“It was also in that law that there will be a teachers’ licensure exam. I had conversations with those who are in charge of it to know what to do because, in this country, we certify our teachers before they come out. I was wondering that after they go through all these processes, what is this exam exactly going to do?”
Responding to claims that the previous administration introduced the teacher licensing examination, she said the law that backed the examination predates the erstwhile John Mahama government.
“There was this Act 778 passed in 2008 when Naana was nowhere near the Ministry of Education and John Mahama was nowhere near the presidency.”
Although she didn’t state the exact approach the NDC will use in the administration of the exams, she said the current approach by the Akufo-Addo administration is flawed, particularly on the basis of the fact that teachers who fail in the exams are unable to teach.
“I thought that we should introduce other ways of helping the teachers to grow because of the nature of the profession especially when the rule is that, when you fail, you can’t teach at all.”
The first examination came off from September 10-12, 2018, and it covered essential teaching skills, numeracy (basic calculation), and literacy (verbal aptitude and essay writing).
The examination applies to all teachers who hold the Diploma in Basic Education (DBE), Bachelor of Education (B.Ed), or a post-graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) who want to be employed by the Ghana Education Service.
The examination has been criticized by some persons, including former President John Dramani Mahama, who has argued that an improvement in the quality of teaching and examinations at the Colleges of Education is more important than the licensure examination.
He has thus promised to scrap the examination if voted into power in December 2020.