The Leadership of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) says it is not opposed to the Teacher Licensure Examination organised by the National Teaching Council (NTC).
Ms Philippa Larsen, the National President of GNAT, said: “we, however, expressed concern about the rush to get the examination conducted without enough stakeholder consultation and sensitisation of the teachers, who are to write the examination.”
Ms Larsen speaking at the launch of the World Teacher’ Day and GNAT Week celebration, said just as the examination for BECE and WASSCE have syllabus guiding both teachers and student, the NTC should have come out with the form of examination to be written and any other related information to get teachers well informed and prepared for the examination.
The event, which is celebrated to highlight the important role teachers play in developing nations across the globe and the recognition and appropriate compensation due them, is on the theme: “The Right to Education means, the right to a Qualified Teacher.”
“No teacher is afraid to write any examination, but we consider it unfair to deny the examinees what to expect prior to the examination,” she added.
Ms Larsen said, in order to forestall the situation repeating itself next year, GNAT had consulted with the Ministry of Education, which had agreed to a stakeholder meeting before the end of October, to develop a framework for the conduct of the licensure examination, going into the future.
On arrears due teachers, the National President said the government had assured the leadership of the Association that about ten thousand teachers would be paid their arrears within the next two weeks.
On the Double Track System, Ms Larsen said GNAT was not against its introduction, however, there would not be enough teachers to stand the pressure that was likely to accompany the implementation of the policy.
She urged government to speed up the recruitment of its promised 8,000 additional teachers to augment the number of teachers in the Senior High Schools (SHS).
“In our view, it will be impossible for the current number of tutors in SHS to handle the system,” she added.
On the GNAT Week celebration, she said it was to sensitise their members to the activities of the Association and also usher them into the mood of the celebration of the World Teachers’ Day, held on October 5, every year.
She said in line with this objective, a series of activities had been lined up to commemorate the event, including Radio discussions on the global theme of the Day, Inter-District Quiz competition, Inter-Local fun games, health screening, clean-up exercise, symposia and presentations on the new Educational Policies.
Ms Larsen also said, as part of the Day celebration, GNAT assist 50 needy school children in the host region every year by providing them with school attires, bags, canvas boots and learning materials to serve as a motivation to go to school.
She said this year, there was an innovation, regarding the learning materials, instead of the materials being dropped in the bags, this time the two schools from which the 50 children were chosen would each be presented with a pack of Supplementary Readers and Simplified English for Schools to their libraries, for use by the pupils.
“This is to help improve reading among the pupils at the basic level,” the National President said.
She said GNAT remained committed to contribute its quota to ensure that both teachers and learners find themselves in an atmosphere that promotes sound academic work.