The teacher licensure examination has been introduced to help ensure trained teachers meet international standard and attain the professional teacher status upon passing of the examination.
According to Director-General of Ghana Education Service (GES), Prof. Kwasi Opoku Amankwa, Ghana will commit suicide should the Teacher Licensure Examination should be cancelled as promised by the opposition National Democratic Congress.
The way politicians battle each other on the teacher licensure examination makes it look as though teachers have become the puppets of politicians whose main agenda is to gain personal political favours or be seen as thinking more about the teacher and not their own political ambitions which have been camouflaged.
Teacher Licensure Examination cancellation and the stand of Prof. Kwasi Opoku Amankwa
In the view of Prof. Kwasi Opoku Amankwa, the examination has helped the Ghanaian teacher to meet international standards, but the question is can our teachers meet the same standard if the exams is integrated into their training period whiles in school and the financial burden it comes with taking off?
Politics is one danger that will continue to hinder the objective thinking of some teachers who go through the licensure examination and the bunch of politicians who have different ideologies on how we should go about this. Both teachers and none teachers are divided on if the teachers’ licensure examination should be cancelled on not.
The big question is, what are the benefits that learners in our schools have gained from teachers who have passed the examination? Has the government or the NTC conducted any assessment/research prior to the exams to understand the gaps in the professional contribution and work of teachers to pre-tertiary education in Ghana? Again is there any post analysis whether the professional skills sets of professional teachers has improved since they passed the examination? Lastly, what are the gaps missing after a teacher has successfully graduated from the Colleges of Education, for which reason the Teacher Licensure Examination has become important?
Putting politics aside, teachers can begin to unanimously in an objective manner examine the usefulness of the current test contents of the examination and how it has contributed to their professional development and the value the exams have added to their professional skills as teachers.
Accounts officers and accountants trained in universities for instance only become professional accountants after studying and taking the ICA Ghana examination and passing three levels of examination. But teachers take onetime exams and should they make the pass grades, they are deemed professionals per the understanding of the NTC.
One of the best ways to make the Teacher Licensure Examination effective is to integrate course modules of the examination into the degree programme of the various colleges of education and the universities that offer education-related programmes.
If the course modules are split throughout the training period, a teacher should be a professional teacher by the end of his or her programme.
The examination can be taken one subject per semester whiles the teacher is undergoing training and the NTC must be the examining body for this profession examination.
This system would reduce or take away the time lost after teachers have completed their training. The continuous using of teachers, their development, training and the likes for politics by the various political parties in the country must stop. The holistic wellbeing of teachers should be a top priority for us all.
Let us use out of the box approaches to improve teacher quality through the licensure examination.
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