The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said the licensure examination was a credible means of achieving that and his government remained committed to it.
The president said the teacher licensure examination is the surest way to enhance standards and elevate the dignity of the teaching profession.
“If we are to elevate the dignity of the teaching profession, as we must, then it stands to reason that we must guard the gates jealously and ensure that robust standards are met before a person can call himself or herself a teacher and enter the classroom to teach,” he explained.
That, he said, would help teachers acquire skills, knowledge, values and attitudes to meet national and global teaching standards to deliver effectively in schools.
The President said this in a speech read on his behalf at this year’s Ghana Teacher Prize Day in Cape Coast yesterday.
Teacher Prize Day
A 39-year-old teacher of the Naylor SDA Basic School, Tema, Mr Eric Asomaning Asante, was adjudged the Best Teacher.
For his prize, he receives a three-bedroom house worth GH¢1.8 million.
The first runner-up, Ms Anima Junior of the Aboabo Number 4 Presbyterian Primary School, will receive a double cabin pick-up, while Ms Sandra Osei of the Akwatia Technical Institute, the second runner-up, also received a Toyota saloon car.
The awards ceremony, scheduled to coincide with this year’s World Teachers Day, was on the theme: “Teacher leadership in developing crisis education responses”.
Hundreds of teachers and educational workers thronged the New Examination Centre of the University of Cape Coast (UCC), the venue for the programme, to participate in the event.
In spite of the fact that they wore masks, and notwithstanding COVID-19 protocols, the joy on the faces of the award winners, their families and friends could not be hidden when their loved ones won awards.
While many of the award winners and their guests tried hard to make elbow shakes the order of the day, a few people found themselves hugging their loved ones who had won awards.
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President Akufo-Addo noted that it was in line with promoting standards in the teaching profession that the government, through the Ministry of Education and its agencies, was collaborating with the Norwegian Teacher Initiative to develop a comprehensive teacher policy which had, among other things, established the Ghana Teacher Task Force to promote and ensure the attainment of high learning outcomes.
He indicated that the policy critically took into consideration the welfare, professional development and growth, conditions of services and all that was needed to enable teachers to compete with their counterparts from across the world.
The President said it would further influence teachers’ training and growth and ensure improved learning outcomes.
Again, he noted that the Education Act, 2008 (Act 778), which, among others, led to the establishment of the National Teaching Council, which is overseeing enhancing professional standards, had worked to put in place mechanisms, including the teacher licensure examination.
He pledged to work to ensure that the COVID-19 pandemic did not truncate the education or jeopardise the future of children, adding that that had informed the government’s decision to allow some students to return to school.
He noted that for the nation to be successful, attention must be paid to teachers.
“It is only a crop of well-trained, self-confident and contented teachers who can deliver the educated and skilled workforce we require to transform our economy,” President Akufo-Addo said.
He commended teachers for their cooperation which had helped final-year JHS and SHS students to successfully write their final examinations.
“In spite of the genuine concerns of safety, coupled with the doom-mongering trumpeted by some in the political space, the teacher unions cooperated with the Ministry of Education in the discussions and plans, leading to the phased reopening of schools,” he said, adding that teachers rose to the occasion and supported the effort.
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