The 2017/2018 badge of newly trained teachers in the Eastern Regional capital have joined the campaign against the introduction of teachers’ licensing exams.
The group hit the streets of Koforidua Friday in a mammoth demonstration to register their concerns.
The demonstrators argue that they have already completed their training and were waiting for their postings hence the government’s outlet handling the licensing exams has no business starting the new policy with them.
Leader of the group, Agyepong Nelson argues that since the policy is now being introduced, the authorities should begin its implementation at the roots [with the new entrants into the Colleges of Education].
“When they wanted to implement the Free SHS policy they didn’t start with all the students or the seniors, they started with those entering Senior High School so they implement this one too like that,” he argued.
He added that they haven’t been given any form of orientation neither have they been supplied any study materials from which the said licensing exams will be based on, so any attempt to compel them to sit for such exams will be unfair.
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Meanwhile the National Teaching Council (NTC) has called their bluff.
The council said the target group has a choice to either participate in government’s programme to license teachers in the country or exempt themselves.
Executive Secretary of the Council, Dr Evelyn Oduro denied claims that government is rushing the implementation of the policy. On the contrary, she said teachers have been given ample time to prepare for the licensing regime.
According to her, the teachers have been dragging their feet for over ten years which has contributed to the slow pace of implementation of the policy.
She said the country has the lowest charge rate [¢450] for a license as compared to other countries like Nigeria and Zambia where they also renew it on a yearly basis.
Government says the new licensing regime will improve professionalism in teaching but both the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) and the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) have raised concerns.
Vice President of NAGRAT Jacob Anaba says government has yet to clarify concerns raised over the cost of securing and renewing the licenses which are to be awarded by the National Teaching Council.
He said they have raised concerns about the policy including renewal fees of the license and when it should be renewed as well as revocation and how to get it back.