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The Director-General of the Ghana Education Service (GES), Professor Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa, has given an assurance that the pursuit of teacher education and professional reforms will help weed out unqualified teachers whose conduct tarnishes the image of the teaching profession.
According to him, the reforms would require a paradigm shift from the basic recruitment of teachers with diplomas to degree-holding teachers, a move that would enable teachers to possess comparable qualifications just like other disciplines.
“For us at the Ministry of Education (MoE) and the GES, it will also cut down the number of teachers who absent themselves from the classroom to attend sandwich and other programmes,” he added.
Addressing the 45th annual conference of managers of educational units in Accra, the director-general said “the reforms also have the potential of enhancing our salaries”.
“If we are able to get licences for our teachers, it will help safeguard the profession, give us the opportunity to weed out those who do not qualify but mix up with us and invariably tarnish our image as professionals,” he said.
The five-day event is on the theme: “The new educational reform: The role of educational units”.
Participants, who include managers of educational units across the country, will, among others, discuss issues that will help promote the new educational reforms, especially the new curriculum in mission schools.
Prof. Opoku-Amankwa explained that the reforms would be carried out in a holistic manner to reform curricula, teacher education, infrastructure, textbooks, among others.
According to him, the world was changing so fast that it required stakeholders in the educational sector, including managers of education units, to bear the responsibility of preparing students for the future.
“We need to constantly review our curriculum to catch up with the times and constantly upgrade ourselves as managers and teachers who will be delivering the curriculum.
“There are many complaints within the educational industry and general complaints about the quality of the students we churn out. Sometimes we have people who come out of our universities but cannot write complete curriculum vitae to get jobs.
“In a bid to address such weaknesses, there is the need to develop a curriculum that will teach some core competencies such as critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, teamwork, networking, digital literacy and creativity,” he added.
The President of the Presbyterian University College, Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Addo Obeng, expressed worry over the failure of various educational reforms to recognise the existence of heads of educational units, let alone their roles in the management and administration of mission schools.
He also expressed disappointment at the way transfers and posting of teachers to and from mission schools were done, sometimes without recourse to the heads of educational units, and blamed the challenge on the poor relationship between district directors of education and the heads of mission schools.
“The missions’ role is just limited to influencing the appointment of heads of mission schools, and sometimes it is at the whims of the Ministry of Education,” he claimed.
Prof. Obeng, who is a former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast, further opined that educational units might find themselves irrelevant in the scheme of education in the country if their roles were not properly defined.
He called on missions to help resource their institutions in the areas of infrastructure, logistics, visitations and provision of incentives to attract more teachers.