Former President John Dramani Mahama, who is also the flagbearer for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in 2024, has expressed his intention to cancel the teacher licensure exams if elected president.
He argues that the exams are unnecessary since teachers already undergo exams at various stages of their training.
The teacher licensure exams were introduced in 2018 by the current New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration.
Mahama had previously made a similar promise in his 2020 manifesto to abolish the exams, citing concerns that qualified teachers were being denied government employment opportunities due to the licensure requirement.
The 2016 article mentioned the introduction of temporary licenses for non-professional teachers and outlined criteria for license renewal, including participation in professional development programs and positive appraisal reports.
The article also reported a significant reduction in teacher absenteeism from 27% to 7%, attributing the improvement to measures implemented by the Ministry of Education, teacher unions, and other factors.
Speaking at Wenchi in the Bono Region as part of his Building Ghana Tour, the former president indicated that, “This is unnecessary. In our next administration, we will cancel the licensure exams.”
“We will abolish the obnoxious licensure exams for teacher trainees and restore the automatic employment of teacher trainee graduates. Let me state unequivocally that no teacher trainee graduate will be denied posting or employment under the next Mahama government.”
Those who are already in the teaching service and are professional teachers will be streamlined, while those who are not professional teachers will be given temporary licenses for three years.
The acting Chief Inspector of the National Inspectorate Board (NIB), Dr. Augustine Tawiah, disclosed this to journalists at a day’s stakeholders’ information-sharing session on teacher absenteeism and school inspection in Accra, explained that “if within the three years, they are not able to acquire the licenses, then they cannot hold themselves as teachers”.
Renewal of licences
He said teachers would be required to renew their licenses yearly, “just like how we renew other licenses”, adding that in the case of teachers, they would go through professional development programs and appraisals to get their licenses renewed.
Dr. Tawiah explained that teachers would have to participate in the programs to qualify for the renewal of their licenses.
He mentioned other criterium that would qualify a teacher to be licensed as a good appraisal report, including punctuality and regularity, effective teaching, and serving on committees.
He added, “If you are always fighting and also if you have a criminal record and all such vices, you will lose your license.”
Sharing an inspection report carried out by the NIB, Dr Tawiah said the board went on a nationwide inspection tour during which it visited 1,789 schools and said its findings were revealing.