Education in Ghana Kwesi Pratt questions new teacher licensing policy

He opines that the purpose of the new policy is to "exclude" rather than include" some persons from teaching

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Veteran Journalist Kwasi Pratt Jr has questioned the decision to by the National Inspectorate Board (NIB) to license new teachers before they are allowed to teach.

He opines that the purpose of the new policy is to "exclude" rather than include" some persons from teaching.

At a 'stakeholders' forum yesterday, the acting Chief Inspector of NIB, Dr Augustine Tawiah said new teachers in the country will be licensed before they are allowed to teach in public schools beginning from 2016/2017 academic year.

H added that Professional teachers in the system will also be streamlined while nonprofessional teachers will be given temporal license for three years during which they are expected to acquire the license.

However, speaking on Metro TV’s Good Morning Ghana Wednesday, Mr Pratt said the exclusion of nonprofessional teachers, which the policy is aimed at, will affect education in the country.

"The purpose is to exclude some persons from practising the profession on the assumption of inferior quality. That is the purpose," he stressed. "And I will like to pose the question, how many professional teachers to we have? And are the numbers are not adequate? They are not!" 

He added, "The number are obviously not adequate and if u exclude nonprofessional teachers, I mean education will suffer a huge drop."

The new policy mandate teachers to renew their license each year, while nonprofessional teachers will be given temporal license for three years during which they are expected to acquire the license.

The licensing of teachers has received massive endorsement by the Ghana National Association of Teachers and other allied teacher unions.

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But Mr Pratt, an avowed socialist, believes the licensing of teachers is not the solution to cure the numerous challenges confronting the education sector.

He said: "I am just wondering, really what will it do,? It is just going to be re-training. Do you need a license to be able to retrain teachers? If you want to ensure that the level of absenteeism in schools is cured, is the license the cure for that?

"As we speak, every teacher knows that absenteeism is punishable, every teacher knows that if you absent yourself from a number of days, you are deemed to be dismissed from the public service.

"The existence of the regulation and the awareness of the regulation does not solve the problem. And I don't see how licensing will solve this problem."

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