General News of Wednesday, 21 September 2016
Begining from the 2016/17 academic year, all newly recruited teachers will have to be licensed before they will be allowed to teach.
Those who are already in the teaching service who are professional teachers will be streamlined, while those who are not professional teachers will be given temporary licences for three years.
The acting Chief Inspector of the National Inspectorate Board (NIB), Dr Augustine Tawiah, who disclosed this to journalists at a day’s stakeholders’ information-sharing session on teacher absenteeism and school inspection in Accra yesterday, explained that “if within the three years they are not able to acquire the licences, then they cannot hold themselves as teachers”.
Renewal of licences
He said teachers would be required to renew their licences yearly, “just like how we renew other licences”, adding that in the case of teachers, they would go through professional development programmes and appraisals to get their licences renewed.
Dr Tawiah explained that teachers would have to participate in the programmes to qualify for renewal of licence.
He mentioned another criterium that would qualify a teacher to be licensed as good appraisal report, including punctuality and regularity, effective teaching and serving on committees.
He added, “If you are always fighting and also if you have a criminal record and all such vices, you will lose your licence.”
Sharing an inspection report carried out by the NIB, Dr Tawiah said the board went on a nationwide inspection tour during which it visited 1,789 schools and said its findings were revealing.
He said the incidence of teacher absenteeism in schools had reduced significantly and was happy that the practice had reduced drastically from 27 per cent to seven per cent.
He identified maternity leave, sick leave and workshops as some of the causes of teacher absenteeism in the classroom.
While congratulating the Ministry of Education on putting in place pragmatic measures to stem the practice, he said “that cannot be something we should take pride in”.
He applauded the teacher unions for their immense role in reducing teacher absenteeism and also the declaration of zero tolerance for teacher absenteeism by the Minister of Education, Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang.
Dr Tawiah identified effective dialogue with the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies, the posting of more professional teachers to the field and the vigilance of the National Teacher Council and the NIB as some of the reasons for the improved teacher presence in schools.
The Deputy Minister of Education in charge of Pre-tertiary, Mr Alex Kyeremeh, who opened the session, expressed happiness that teacher absenteeism had reduced drastically, recalling that when the current administration took over affairs at the ministry, teacher absenteeism was 27 per cent.
He said the figure represented one of the highest cases of teacher absenteeism in the world’s rating by donor partners, the World Bank and other organisations.
“And so if we are now seven per cent, I think we have made a lot of progress,” he said.