Beware of Fake Teachers

Alarming rate of tutors who use forged certificates to teach:
This might have come as a surprise to some people but it is
the truth. As some people operate as teachers though they
have no certificates, others try to use forged documents to
teach our children.
Teaching is a noble and enviable job. It has to be jealously
protected and preserved against the invasion by charlatans.
It is never a ‘job for the boys’. One needs a strong base of
academic, professional, social and moral resources to be able
to do it well. The trained teacher adopts appropriate
instructional materials and teaching pedagogy to cause a
lasting desirable change in the life of the learner.
Broadly speaking, teachers in public pre-tertiary schools under
the control of the Ghana Education Service (GES) are
categorized into professional and non-professional teachers.
The minimum teaching qualification of professional teachers
at the basic school level shall be the Diploma in Basic
Education obtained from any of the accredited higher
educational institutions for training teachers. The minimum
teaching qualification of professional teachers for second cycle
level is a Bachelor’s degree in Education designed in the
appropriate subject(s) for that level; or a Bachelor of Arts/
Bachelor of Science degree (in any teaching subject) in
addition to a Post Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) or
its equivalent.
Who says teaching is a ‘stepping stone’? Money is spent on
training people to become professional teachers. The GES will
soon issue licenses to its new teachers. Colleges of education
and education universities, such as University of Cape Coast
and University of Education, Winneba have the accreditation to
train teachers and they do it. GES, in special instances,
engages the services of untrained or non-professional
teachers. Non-professional teachers (sometimes referred to as
pupil teachers) are persons holding the Senior High School
(SHS) certificate with three credits, including English and
Mathematics; persons with diploma from accredited
polytechnics and other non-teaching tertiary institutions and
university graduates without certificates in education.
However, GES hardly employs non-professional and pupil
teachers to teach in our schools these days. Notwithstanding
the current ban on public sector employment, GES now wants
only professional teachers in schools. The Untrained Teachers’
Diploma in Basic Education (UTDBE) programme, distance
education, sandwich learning mode and the traditional Study
Leave with Pay Scheme are packages approved of by GES to
create the chance for professional training and continuing
professional development of teachers. Serving personnel of
say, technical and vocational backgrounds, qualify to pursue
education courses so as to become professional teachers.
Director-General Jacob Aaworb-Nang Maabobr Kor and GES
are just not happy to have learnt that there are still teachers
without certificates or with forged certificates in some of our
schools. GES is intensifying its operations to weed dubious
personnel out of the system. Last year, GNA Media Auditing
and Development Tracking Project teamed up with Star-Ghana
to expose about 120 pupil teachers with fake documents in
Upper Manya Krobo District of the Eastern Region. The report
revealed that persons with as low as basic education
certificates managed to creep into the school system and
acted as teachers with fake certificates. GES, without delay,
conducted an investigation into this exposé and the victims
were sacked from the Service.
Goaso Municipal Director of Education in Brong Ahafo Region
Jonas Yelboureri Yeboah dismissed about 40 basic school
teachers who had been teaching for three years with forged
certificates. Mr. Yeboah is on record to have said, “After using
fake certificates to secure jobs for three years now, we have
given them dismissal letters to go home while investigations
continue.” According to him, the exposé happened following an
investigation by the Municipal Education Oversight Committee
(MEOC) into poor performance of pupils at the Basic
Education Certificate Examination (B.E.C.E) for three
consecutive years.
Just recently, the police arrested one Samuel Yeboah of
Boakye Tromo Senior High Technical School in Brong Ahafo
Region for using fake certificates to teach for way over a
period of 5 years. He managed to rely on fake Higher National
Diploma in Marketing from Accra Polytechnic and a degree in
mathematics from University of Cape Coast all along. It was
Mr. George Awuah, his headmaster, who raised an alarm over
the situation upon a tip-off. GES quickly investigated the case
and subsequently cleared him off the payroll after GES
corroborated the claim. GES is a human institution; impostors
may want to sneak into it to perform nefarious activities.
Last year, the Jaman South District Directorate of Education,
through an instruction by the Teacher Education Division of
GES, withdrew the services of 17 teachers for using fake
certificates to teach. These unsuspecting personnel managed
to gain admission to the University of Cape Coast to read the
UTDBE course but failed to succeed and they were sacked. Mr.
Kingsley Abrokwa, the district director of education, did firm
his resolve and that of GES to rid the system of fake elements
who parade as teachers and public education workers.
The taste of people to enter the education sector with
questionable papers appears to be on the rise these days.
Even pupils in basic schools now struggle to access
certificates through foul means notwithstanding the
consequences that this action could bring onto them when
caught. Cases of examination practices keep recurring every
year. Registrar of Takoradi Polytechnic Silvia Oppong-Mensah
once revealed that some students are ready to have grades
like D7, E8 and F9 at the West African Senior School
Certificate Examination (WASSCE) falsified to say, A1, in order
to gain admission to institutions of higher learning.
Universities, such as the University of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah
University of Science and Technology and University of Cape
have sacked students over the years for using forged
certificates for admission. The recent arrest of a Takoradi-
based man, also called Dr Sam, by the police of the University
of Cape Coast over his alleged involvement in the production
of fake results for people to gain admission to the university is
a fresh case. The belief is that there are other people into this
counterfeit job within our system. And why would anyone
choose to sail on an unapproved route to success in life at
all?
Charity, they say, begins at home. Parents, families and
society should austerely imbibe in their children and young
people the virtues of honesty, integrity and excellence. There
is no need to resort to unorthodox means to success. Any
child, for example, who is suspected to have altered an
original examination result from school should be thoroughly
investigated and punished if culpable. It is inappropriate and
suicidal for an undesirable behavior involving the child to be
treated with disdain. Little drops of water make a mighty
ocean and so to overlook a fraudulent act committed by the
child is to bolster his or her appetite to continue to commit it
and even greater. Young adults need proper guidance and
reinforcements so as to live to expectation.
Mr. Kor, on behalf of the Management of GES, released a
circular last month to all regions, districts and schools in the
country for directors and heads of schools to constitute
Commissions of Enquiry to audit the certificates of teachers in
all public pre-tertiary schools. The task of eliminating
counterfeit elements from any system is an all-inclusive one.
Teachers, heads of schools and circuit supervisors must work
hard. Teachers should volunteer information on colleagues
with doubtful qualifications.
Names of teachers with employment details, such as schools
attended, dates of birth and professional ranks should be
displayed on notice boards in school offices for all staff to
appreciate. Directors and officers should ensure that the
certificates of persons seeking employment in the Service are
properly scrutinized and validated. Documents presented for
promotions, salary upgrading and adjustments by staff should
be certified and endorsed by the awarding institutions and
authorities.
The GES shall continue to do proper audit and cleansing of its
staff on Payroll. Its resolve for staff to work with certificates
from only state-accredited institutions still stands. Quality
education delivery happens, to a large extent, with quality
personnel. Society must not sit aloof as miscreants invade
schools to mislead our children. Traditional authorities,
assembly members and the media must get on board. After
all, the school is for all of us!
This article commends Mr. Jacob Kor on his appointment by
the President as the substantive Director-General of GES.
Congrats, D-G!

The writer is a Public Relations Officer at the Headquarters of
the Ghana Education Service.
E-mail: amoatec27@yahoo.com

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