In a move that some educators and observers have hailed as a historic step toward advancing high-quality education in Ghana, former President John Mahama and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) have reiterated their 2020 manifesto pledge to end the requirement that teachers write licensure exams every four years, which they must pay for.
The Mahama decision is based on the idea that teachers won’t need to take expensive, recurrent exams if they obtain high-quality training and instruction during their teacher preparation years.
Opponents point out that teacher licensing was announced and tested in 2016, but they purposefully omit to mention that the NDC administration’s licensing policy was based on a professional development program rather than a recurrent exam.
The goal was to license all newly hired teachers prior to their being permitted to teach; current professional teachers were to have their licenses expedited; non-professional teachers were to be granted three-year interim licenses.
In a September 21, 2016, Daily Graphic report, Dr. Augustine Tawiah, the acting Chief Inspector of the National Inspectorate Board (NIB), stated that non-professional teachers who fail to obtain their licenses within the first three years of their employment will no longer be considered qualified teachers.
The NDC administration’s policy required teachers to take part in pertinent programs and assessments in order to renew their licenses, which was another way of encouraging teachers’ ongoing professional development and advancement.
Not routine tests, which they must pay for.
One of the deputy ministers of education who has expressed concerns about the Mahama and NDC proposal to end the ongoing exams is not the only one.