The National Communications Officer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Sammy Gyamfi says the party is not against licensing teachers, but is rather opposed to the approach adopted by the governing New Patriotic Party to accomplish this.
According to him, the law mandates that all teachers be licensed before they can practice, however, making an examination the sole pathway to fulfill that objective is the problem.
Speaking on the Pulse on JoyNews, he said “Licensing is not the same as licensure examination. Section 12 and Section 13 of the Education Act 2008, Act 778 is clear. Teachers ought to be licensed and registered before they can practice as teachers in Ghana. We support that, we fully support the licensing and registration of teachers. President Mahama supports it, the NDC supports this. However, we are against the use of a licensure examination as the sole basis for licensing teachers.”
Juxtaposing how lawyers are licensed to that of teachers, Mr Gyamfi said when he and his learned colleagues were called to the bar, automatically they were licensed to practice yet teachers are expected to take another test.
This, he said was wrong.
The vociferous legal practitioner said “Currently, teacher trainees are undertaking a four-year degree programme, very intensive. During these four years, they studied almost 50 to 60 courses, six courses, seven courses, four courses, five courses, and all that. The curriculum for every semester, they do what is called STS-supporting teaching in school – so you are not only going to be sitting in a classroom and be taught, but once in a while there is an allotted time on your timetable for you to go the field and actually engage in practical teaching under mentors.
“When you get to level 400 semester you engage in the full semester fieldwork, they call it internship or menteeship, where you are assigned to a mentor who then guides you on the practical aspect of teaching. You are required to prepare lesson notes and you go to school with your report and you are assessed again.”
He stressed that after many years in school and training, the government insisted that they must undertake the licensure exam which is “an exam that has no active guide…an examination without any formula, you don’t even know the marking scheme they use, you are not told the pass mark.”
Mr Gyamfi alleged that the examination was a plot since the number that failed the examination dictated the number of people the government denies employment.
“You see this whole thing is a scam… the Akufo-Addo-Bawumia government does not have the financial capacity to employ,” he added.
He added that when the NDC returns to power in 2024, they would review the system and make it better.