With the introduction of license into the teaching profession in Ghana like various professional bodies such as drivers, GMA, GRNA, GBA just to mention a few who already had operating licenses, a lot of teachers were happy with the new development.
This is because teachers believed that with the introduction of license into the profession, they were now going to be true professionals. Little did they know that people were going to take advantage and exploit them in the course of renewing this license.
Teachers always pride themselves with the slogan “every professional can boast but the teacher taught them all”. Why then do they teach others to do the right thing but can’t practice that themselves? Being licensed professionals, teachers are now subjected to periodic renewal of licenses.
A concerned teacher has therefore asked what the way forward is in this regard. The teacher said “What is the lay down procedure for the renewal of the teachers license within a specified period of about 3 to 4 years?
We are told to attend CPD workshops to build 100 points within the three or four years interval before the license is renewed.
As a teacher driver, the last time l went to renew my license, l was taken through eye test procedure after which l was asked lf l remember my road signs. l was then given about six road signs to tell what they meant after that l paid a fee and my license was renewed for me.
Drivers carry precious lives on the road but the renewal of this license is very simple.I am not familiar with how GMA, GBA and GRNA licenses are renewed but I don’t think they go through what teachers are currently going through before their license will be renewed in 4 years time or there about”.
The concerned teacher further asserted that “On two occasions teachers in the New Juaben North Municipality converged at the assembly hall of Oyoko Methodist SHS for their CPD workshop aimed at building points and on each each occasion, they were about 350 in number. On one occasion they paid 75gh for 8 points and on another occasions 55gh for 2 points. Also, Teachers in the Abuakwa North District are currently paying 75gh for 4 points.This means that if a teacher is to build 100 points by gaining 4 points out of each CPD workshop, then it means that the teacher must attend 4 times 25 CPD workshops to build the 100points.”
This also means that the teacher must pay Ghc 75×25 before her/his license is renewed.
Aside the monetary aspect of the CPD workshop, most teachers complain that the organization of the workshops are poor. There are different categories of teachers such as: Basic School Teachers, Second Cycle Teachers and Special School Teachers and all these teachers can’t be put together in the name of professional development.
The aggrieved teacher queried “ Can you put doctors and nurses together and teach them because they all work at the hospital and deal with patients? “ Certainly not because the teacher who has a certificate in early childhood has nothing in common with a teacher with a certificate in basic education and same goes for teachers who are BEd holders and specific subject teachers.
Ending the statement, the concerned teacher again said “Before the introduction of the license how many times did the employer (GES) organizing refresher courses for the employees within the four year intervals? Why is that an estimated number of courses will be organized for teachers in the name of points building to renew license. I have attended a number of ‘itec’ workshops at the National Science Resource Center, Opokuware School and Prempeh College. No where in these workshops were physics, chemistry and biology teachers put together in one room to be taught. In all these workshops, participants were put in hotels we were fed three time daily and our transportation are paid at the end.If our employer cannot organize professional development workshops for us freely but we have to Pay, then we must demand a better organization of such workshops and the number reduced by increasing the points per a workshop within a specified time.It should not centre on the money but true Professionalism. We must also not go through hardships before our license can be renewed.All teachers in a district must not leave the classroom the whole day to attend a workshop in the name of renewal of license.”
Teacher Unions such as NAGRAT ,GNAT, CCT and all other stakeholders in education are being called on to take a better look at this license renewal methods and the CPD workshops before things get out of hand.