General News of Saturday, 27 October 2018
The National Service Scheme says it has released about 14, 000 pin codes to get trainee teachers across the country to undertake a compulsory one-year national service before being employed by the government.
This new directive from the government stipulates that newly trained teachers will undertake their service after writing the Teacher Licensure Examinations.
But some trainee teachers are opposed to the decision.
A group calling itself Teachers and Trainees Advocacy (TTA) described the new directive as “heartbreaking” and “disrespectful.”
“The Leadership TTA is stating emphatically that newly trained teachers are not on any day embarking on any one year National Service for that matter we call on all teacher unions to rally behind us for a common course. We have been silent for long, and this is the time to act and fight for our right. We cannot be taken for granted, and sanity and respect must be shown to trainee teachers by the Ministry of Education and other stakeholders,” the group stated in a statement signed by its National Convener, Antwi Karikari Patrick.
But the Director of Public Affairs at NSS, David Prah explained that the one year national service for teachers is now mandatory by law because the teacher trainee colleges have assumed tertiary status because they now award diploma certificates.
“I have heard some of the trainees arguing that they were not doing national service. Let’s take note that at first colleges of education that used to be called teacher training college were not tertiary, so they were not part of the national service bracket. And when they started coming out with a diploma and becoming tertiary…it has become official for them to do national service,” he added.
Below is the full statement from the Teachers and Trainees Advocacy:
ENOUGH is ENOUGH; NEWLY TRAINED TEACHERS ARE NOT READY FOR ANY NATIONAL SERVICE; POST US NOW!!!
It’s pathetic and heartbreaking to be treated unfairly right in the face of multiple ambushes. Teacher Trainees have been in left in the dark for a long time and often imposed upon with new educational policies which were not pre-informed.
It’s clear that the Ministry of Education has no little respect for Teacher Trainees especially the 2018/2019 academic year group who are still locked up in the house waiting for postings after writing their final papers in August.
The 2016/2017 year group were admitted in the year 2014 with their academic calender designed to suit a new program from 4 semesters-in two semesters-out to 5 semesters-in 1-semester out. It was devastating to note that in the fourth semester, that year group was forced to go for out program due to the unacceptable negligence of stakeholders in making proper preparations towards the new policy thereby rendering that year group loaded with six courses instead of two to complete in the last two semesters.
It’s in the same year that the policy of failing a single paper will sadly eliminate you from college after failing to redeem yourself with a resit exam.
Newly trained teachers of the 2018/2019 academic year completed their 3-year college education on a sad note as they were ambushed with the Teacher Licensing exam conducted by National Teaching Council ( NTC ).
An exam which was targeted to access teachers Numeracy and literacy skills.
It was made clear that those who will fail the first exam won’t be posted on any grounds until the next set of papers will be written after six months. That exams on records, was poorly conducted by NTC as about 90% of these candidates had no material to study and prepare for the exam, exam questions were long delayed on an opening day, almost all the questions also leaked.
The aggravating part of it is when a law suit was involved in creating a picture of delay in postings of newly trained teachers.
Nevertheless, they paid a preposterous amount of GhC 220 as registration fee to write the exams in peace and patiently waited on NTC to publish results on 15th October 2018 as promised by the Secretary of NTC, Dr. Mrs. Evelyn Oduro. The said date passed due to the lawsuit against NTC and just yesterday newly trained teachers woke up to another eyebrow raising information from the National Service Scheme’s Executive Director (Ag.), Hon Mustapha Ussif, asking Newly Trained Teachers to asses a portal given, to register with an amount of GhC 40 to know where they have been posted to embark on a one year national service with no prior notice or so ever.
Must the ordinary Newly Teacher Trainee be made to go through these ordeals?
Now, the puzzling questions that need immediate responses are;
1. How did the major stakeholders make the then leadership of TTAG believe that newly trained teachers will not be humiliated with this national service?
2. Since when was newly trained teachers informed of national service at the end of their three academic years by even their principals before they will be finally posted.
3. What happens to the one year induction period for the licensing? Is that going to make it two years before final postings?
4. If Newly Trained teachers are given an ultimatum from today to 16th November to register then what happens to the license exam they were forced to write? Is it nullified or still intact?
5. Are they going to receive a monthly salary as government workers or National Service allowance of GHC 559?
6. Are they going to apply for jobs after their National Service or will be posted as usual?
The Leadership TTA is stating emphatically that Newly Trained teachers are not on any day embarking on any one year National Service for that matter we call on all teacher unions to rally behind us for a common course.
We have been silent for long, and this is the time to act and fight for our right.
We cannot be taking for granted and sanity and respect must be shown to trainee teachers by the Ministry of Education and other stakeholders.
No registration should be done by any newly trained teacher for now.
We are tired of the WhatsApp and social media information that is perpetually sent to us, as it always appears to be authentic and binds on us. We hope and pray that at least, an official message from the minister of Education himself will be given to us pretty soon for us to know our fate as we continue to stay home and await further clarifications and postings.
Antwi Karikari Patrick
Teacher Trainees’ Education Analyst
Azasu Samuel Atsu
Director of Publicity-TTA (Ag)
Cc: The Minister of Education
The Minister of State in Charge of Tertiary Education
The Chairperson, Parliamentary Select Committee on Education
The Executive Secretary, NTC
The Chairman, GES Council
The Director-General, GES
The Chairperson, PRINCOF
The General Secretary, GNAT
The President, NAGRAT
The President, CCT
The General Secretary, TEWU
The National Teaching Council, NTC
All College Principals
All Students’ Affairs Tutors, CoE
The President, NUGS
The President, TTAG
All SRC Presidents, CoE
All Media Houses-GH