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25 August 2017

We’re not afraid of license exams – GNAT

Mr David Ofori Acheampong, the General Secretary of Ghana National Association of Teachers has stated that their members are ready for any exams for licensing.

“We are not against exams, but we want the right thing to be done, the modalities for the licensing should be spelt out and that the institution of state must work according to plan,” he added.

He made the remarks in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Accra at the sidelines of the fifth Quadrennial Regional Delegates Conference of the Greater Accra Ghana National Association of Teachers.

The conference was on the theme, “Transforming Societies through Education under the Agenda 2030: 60 Years of Ghana’s Education System; Educating for Certification or Educating for Self-Sustaining Life Transformation”.

It could be recalled that the Ghana Education Service (GES) said all trained teachers nationwide were expected to start writing professional licensing examinations to be conducted by the Service.

The initiative according to the GES was part of the education sector’s professional development and that it applies to both trainee teachers graduating from public and private teacher training colleges.

Mr Acheampong expressed the believed that GES ‘was jumping the gun’ and that they were not against the move but the modalities for the licensing was necessary in that perspective.

“For instance i can establish a driving school and certify you to drive but until DVLA gives you the licence you cannot drive on the road. This is because Driver ad Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) has rules and modalities to follow to get a licence; so they should bring the modalities not exams”.

He stated that the National Teaching Council was mandated by law to prescribe modalities for teachers licensing, and that the Council was yet to meet and could not understand why the interest in the issue.

Mr Acheampong expressed his disagreement with the idea for schools to close at 4pm instead of 2pm, saying there was no scientific basis for the extension, because the decision was taken to favour the interest of few instead of the country as a whole.

“You are extending the duration because in Accra people cannot go and pick their children at that time forgetting that in some communities some children walked for about seven kilometres to school and walked back to farms, saying such decision must reflect the interest of all and sundry not few”.

He called for a national dialogue to discuss issues pertaining to the educational sector including the reduction of subjects in schools.

The General Secretary expressed his disagrees with the assertion that students be made to carry phones to schools since it distracted lessons and affected concentration on the part of the students.

He urged government to resource the ICT centres in the schools to make teaching possible since there were lots of students who were disadvantage in terms of access to technology.

“For now, we think there should be a portal link with educational activities, since some students would abuse the opportunity negatively by watching pornography materials and unnecessary activities instead of learning”.

On the contrary, Mr Anis Haffer, a Lecturer at the Accra College of Medical, expressed the belief that students should be given the nod to use phones in schools but should be well-structured to prevent its abuse since we were in the world of technology.

Mr Haffer, also a Consultant in Education urged teachers to be innovative in their style of teaching and never underrate the students because some could be used to teach others in the classroom.

He said it was time to move away from ‘chew and pour’ and focus more on solving problems in a realistic way, urging teachers to develop psyche of the children from the beginning to unearth their potential.

Source: GNA

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