*Teacher Unions boycott talks with Gov’t over proposed licenses*

Tuesday 17th May , 2016 3:50 pm
NAGRAT Vice President, Angel Carbonu

The three main teacher unions have suspended discussions with government on the proposed teacher licensing regime scheduled for implementation this year.

The unions comprises the National Union of Graduate Teachers, (NAGRAT), the Coalition of Concerned Teachers, (CCT) and the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT).
According to them, government has failed to incorporate their concerns into the policy.
They have thus threatened to boycott its implementation.
The Ghana Education Service (GES), has said it is likely to introduce and implement a licensing regime for pre-tertiary teachers this year, per the Education Act passed in 2008, which created room for a regime that will ensure that teachers are licensed before being employed by the GES.
Every graduate of a public teacher teaching college would have to undergo a compulsory one year on-the-field programme to qualify for the license.
License regime to make teaching more ‘respectable’
Speaking to Citi News, the GES Public Relations Officer, Reverend Jonathan Bettey, revealed that a review process is ongoing to kick start the new regime aimed at improving the quality of teachers in the pre-tertiary sector.
“The licensing system has come to make our profession more respectable. If you receive a license, not only certificate, it means that you are a professional teacher who is qualified to teach in any organization as far as teaching is concerned,” Rev. Bettey explained.
He added that the review is expected to end tomorrow [Wednesday] and forwarded to the authorities before the details of the regime would be disclosed to the public for implementation to start.
Teacher Unions not being taken into
But the Vice President of NAGRAT, Angel Karbonu, explained to Citi News that the unions were invited to the institutionalization of the programme but their suggestions were not taken on board.
“The suggestions that we have made have not been carried on board and that’s why the three teacher unions have boycotted the meeting. If you are talking about licensing teachers, we would have to negotiate the tenets of the licensing and to ensure job security, what goes into the licensing, how the license comes to bear on the job security of the teacher.”
Mr. Karbonu further suggested that some individuals may be furthering their own agenda with no regard for the teachers.
“It looks as if people are carrying their own personal agenda without taking into consideration the input that has been given by the teacher unions.”

By: Delali Adogla-Bessa/http://citifmonline.com/Ghana

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