How 2018 Trained Teachers suffered under NTC and NSS for Controversial License and National Service

Some graduates/trained teachers of 2018 batch
Some graduates/trained teachers of 2018 batch

There is much controversy over the National Teaching Council’s Portfolio Assessment of 2020 Qualified Teachers awaiting Ghana Education Service (GES) postings.

The NTC’s directive to the Newly Trained Teachers to design Portfolio for assessment ahead of their posting/recruitment is creating disaffection among them.

It appears to many Ghanaians especially the 2020 batch of Trained Teachers from the Forty-six (46) Accredited Public Colleges of Education that, the National Teaching Council (NTC) is frustrating only the current Qualified Teachers for unplanned Portfolio Assessment.

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Information gathered by Coverghana.com.gh suggest that, the National Teaching Council has been inconsistent and has been frustrating Newly Trained Teachers since the commencement of the Ghana Teacher Licensure Examination in 2018 under the leadership of Dr. Evelyn O. Oduro, the former Executive Secretary of NTC.

Further information revealed that, the first batch of teachers who sat for the maiden Ghana Teacher Licensure Examination (GTLE) were the 2018 batch of trained teachers.

The 2018 trained teachers officially  completed college on 25th July, 2018 with Diploma in Basic Education (DBE).

Few days for them to write their final two papers thus; Guidance and Counselling and Trends in Education in July 2018, the National Teaching Council disclosed to them that they shall write Licensure Examination before they are employed by Ghana Education Service.

The leadership of the Teacher Trainees’ Association of Ghana (TTAG) stood against the implementation of the policy at the time but, the NTC led by Dr. Evelyn O. Oduro and his accomplices including the then Minister of Education, Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh insisted that, the Newly Trained Teachers must write the Licensure Examination before been posted.

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The trained teachers took to the streets to protest over the new development introduced by NTC to force them write the licensure exams, but to know avail.

According to the trained teachers, they were not against the idea of NTC licensing teachers. They objected that there was no need to write another external exams after the only body mandated to train teachers, that is, Institute of Education, University of Cape Coast has successfully taken them through the necessary training and sat for over thirty (30) external Examinations.

All attempts to stop the National Teaching Council (NTC) from writing the rushed Licensure Examination failed.

These poor teachers were asked to pay GH¢220.00 for the exams. In spite of the numerous protests and consultations, NTC and the major stakeholders didn’t heed the cry of the innocent teachers. The teachers took the matter to court but, it has been dustbin. The innocent 2018 trained teachers had no other option than to sit for the exams at the mercy of God.

NATIONAL SERVICE FOR NEWLY TRAINED TEACHERS

Some few months after writing the exams, these poor trained teachers were informed that, before one is employed to work in the country, he or she must have undergone national service. The 2018 graduate teachers were then compelled to undergo national service for a year.

This time too, they had no option than to “kowtow” and do the service after series of engagement, demonstration etc.

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Surprisingly, they had to pay an amount before they could serve the nation. They received numerous messages from the scheme in 2018 but began the service in January 2019. This has entirely changed the posting of Trained Teachers from August/September to November/December every year.

A few months after starting the service, NTC released the results for the maiden licensure exams they sat for in 2018. Upon the release, some of these trained teachers could not pass all the three papers and had to pay again and write to redeem themselves. Re-sitters were to pay ¢100.00 for any failed paper.

What could the innocent trained teachers do? They then had to act in a very submissive manner again and re-sit for the failed papers.

Right after the re-sitters had written the papers, all the 2018 trained teachers received messages from NTC and NSS directing them to attend a brief and intensive course of education at the various NSS regional offices. Schools were on vacation then, yet they were instructed to attend. People had to come from remote areas to attend the one-day workshop, some of who were paid National Service Allowances from the start of Service.

Whilst these poor teachers are/were doing their national service, the psychological trauma seems to continue. Not long ago, the then Minister of Education – Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh announced on Asempa FM in an interview that the postings of the 2018 batch of trained teachers shall be out in September.

NTC frustrating newly trained teachers with unplanned portfolio assessment before GES recruitment 

A few days after the minister’s announcement, the Executive Director of National Service Scheme in an interview directed all the trained teachers to download from their dashboard annual report forms and submit them to their respective offices. This annual report form when submitted and approved, indicates that the service person has ended his service.

Moreover, the Executive Director at the time, Mustapha Ussif made it clear to all the trained teachers that their service ends in September. It was upon his declaration that all the national service municipal / metropolis/ district directors also had to direct all the personnel to submit their annual report form.

This annual report form required the signatures of Newly Trained Teachers respective head teachers. Schools were on vacation, yet all the trained teachers were instructed to urgently contact their heads to endorse their forms for submission.

Some of these people had to come back from far places to their stations for the necessary endorsement and submission of the forms.

Letter from NSS Secretariat directing Newly Trained Teachers to do compulsory national service meanwhile, they have applied for GES postings
Letter from NSS Secretariat directing Newly Trained Teachers to do compulsory national service meanwhile, they have applied for GES postings

POSTING OF 2018 BATCH OF TRAINED TEACHERS

The then Minister for Education Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh at the 11th congregation of St. Monica’s College of Education as the Special Guest of Honour announced that, all 2018 batch of Trained Teachers who did National Service and all those who passed their licensure examination will be accepted by GES in September 2019 for posting.

He earlier made the promise on Joy 99.7 FM and on OB’s Ekosiisen Asempa FM to the Trained Teachers.

The news was widely welcomed by the teachers despite the Sector Minister on countless occasions, failed 2018 trained teachers.

Based on the statements he made on behalf of the MoE, he quickly directed the Executive Director of NSS Mr. Mustapha Ussif, to immediately roll out 2018 trained teachers undergoing their one year mandatory service from NSS allowance scheme to pave way for GES to post them in September.

Some of the Newly Trained Teachers thought it was one of the usual lies, until the NSS Executive Director confirmed the news on 26th July, 2019 during Joy 99.7  FM’s morning show.

Aside all the emphatic promises from the Minister and the Executive Director, which was later concluded by the Director General of GES Prof. Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa, the teachers still don’t take them serious because of the past experiences until NSS uploaded the annual report form on their dashboard, which means, the service will end in September.

List of items Newly Qualified Teachers are expected to submit for Portfolio Assessment

According to the teachers, should the Minister and his people fail them this time around, then the President of the Republic H.E Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo must know that, about 16,000 trained teachers who completed in 2018, including their parents, siblings, relatives, love once, sympathizers etc will shock him in few months ahead, which will make unexpected history in Ghana.

The teachers were very expectant on the postings. They hope the Sector Minister, Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh never fail them this time around.

September ended but nothing positive came from MoE, GES, NSS and NTC to the 2018 batch of Trained Teachers on their postings as it was aired earlier on national televisions and radio stations.

Surprisingly, the posting portal was miraculously opened for the teachers to reapply.

The teachers again agitated because, they saw the directive as needless to reapply when the requirements which led to the delay have been met. According to them, they had already applied and paid Gh¢10.00 for E-VOUCHER before the directive to write NTC Licensure Examination and and National Service.

  • FACT CHECK

On 6th February, 2018, the Ghana Education Service asked all the 2018 trained teachers (then final year trainees) to apply for employment. This was the norm so the teachers did without hesitation. They willingly bought the voucher as requested and applied as directed. This development tells that GES has their data on their database before the U-turn to write Licensure Examination and do mandatory National Service.

According to the Newly Trained Teachers and their leadership thus; Teacher Trainees’ Association of Ghana (TTAG), having completed the three year Diploma in Basic Education programme and waiting for their postings, they were confronted with an external licensure exams. The National Teaching Council disclosed to them that, they shall write licensure exams before being employed by the Ghana Education Service.

Letter From GES directing 2018 batch of Trained Teachers to apply for postings before the news on licensure examination and national service hit them
Letter From GES directing 2018 batch of Trained Teachers to apply for postings before the news on licensure examination and national service hit them

WHY NTC LICENSURE EXAMINATION AND NATIONAL SERVICE BEFORE POSTINGS?

According to NTC, the purpose of this examination is to enable qualified teachers acquire a professional license and also prepare teachers to meet the demands of the National Teachers’ Standards to deliver effectively in schools.

The teachers argued that, perhaps UCC is not competent enough to train teachers. “We were never against the idea of NTC licensing teachers. We rather saw that there was no need to write another external exams when the only body mandated to train teachers has successfully taken us through the necessary training. What could the innocent teachers do?” The teachers told Coverghana.com.gh

As of today, 30th September, 2021, some of the 2018 batch of Trained Teachers have not received their provisional license to even talk of the full license from the National Teaching Council.

These sad treatments were meted out to the 2019 batch of Trained Teachers and the current 2020 batch of Trained Teachers awaiting posting from GES.

SOURCE: Coverghana.com.gh

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