IFEST has taken notice of a press release from the Minority in parliament on the recent pass rate of candidates who sat for the Ghana Teacher Licensing Examination IFEST equally expresses serious concerns on the pass rate for the examination over the years. IFEST independent study on the GTLE conducted in 2020 revealed that gradually teacher trainees have come to accept the licensing regime and hence scrapping it should not be an alternative.
It is therefore intriguing the consistency of the minority that, the GTLE should be scrapped. This position was even captured in the NDC 2020 manifesto. We, however, feel that, such a stance is highly uninformed and retrogressive.
First of all, licensing examinations all over the world are designed to identify persons who possess the minimum knowledge, experience and skill necessary to perform tasks on a specific job safely and competently. That is why, these examinations are written after the individual has undertaken the relevant programme of study at an accredited tertiary institution. Hence, the GTLE is not different from other professional licensing examinations in the country and beyond.
The National Teaching Council has its mandate from both the Education Act 778 and the Education Regulatory Bodies Act, 2020 Act 1023. In the Act 1023, it is stated explicitly at 60 (b) under the functions of the council that the National Teaching Council (NTC) SHALL “conduct examination for the licensing of persons who successfully complete teacher education programmes”. It therefore surprising that the minority will cite an aspect of Act 778 to question the mandate of NTC in conducting the GTLE.
The minority and others with similar position on the GTLE should note that it will not be in the interest of our education system to abolish the examination on the basis that, candidates who sat for the GTLE could not pass. It should rather worry anyone who is interested in quality education delivery in Ghana. We should however be interested in probing further to ascertain the possible reasons for such performance by candidates who have successfully completed their teacher training programme. We cannot add to the numerous challenges of our basic and secondary education with half-baked human resource.
The GTLE might have its own challenges just like any type of assessment model and hence, suggestions should be more geared towards how to address the various challenges and not to call for a scrap.
We are aware that a comprehensive evaluation of the GTLE is about to be carried out and the focus should be on how to speed up the evaluation study. Such reports will enable stakeholders appreciate the challenges of the GTLE and together suggest measures to improve the system.
IFEST as a research oriented institute believes that an evaluation is the sure way to go and not an arbitrary call for abolishing based on the whims and caprices of any individual or group of people. The practice of erratic changes in educational policies which are not scientifically informed should not be encouraged.
We call on all stakeholders in the education sector to continuously provide constructive criticism of policies aimed at fine-tuning the system and not to always go for the easiest and populist alternative.