He asserted that there was widespread concern about the quality of the country’s education delivery at all levels, especially in relation to teacher education and professionalism.He noted that despite the suggestion to institute a National Teaching Council (NTC) to define the professional standards for school leadership and management as contained in the 2008 Education Act, a fully-fledged Council had not yet been established after eight years of passing the Act.
Speaking to DAILY GUIDE, the Educationist revealed that in other countries, the teaching profession was well regulated by independent professional institutions to ensure that teachers possessed the requisite attitudes, values and skills to teach.
He stated “The General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTC Scotland, 1965) and the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT, 1996) are noted as high profile teaching regulatory bodies and have been the most influential in the establishment of other similar bodies in several countries with varying power and authority”.
He asserted that although significant effort had been made to facilitate the implementation of the policy imperatives of the NTC, the current education policy direction could potentially undermine the independence and autonomy expected of a professional regulatory body.
Mr Armah mentioned that several policies of the Ministry of Education (MoE) and the Ghana Education Service appeared to undermine the expected autonomy and independence of the NTC.
“Beyond this, the role of the NTC in defining the professional standards for school leadership and management remain unclear. Significantly, the Education Act does not even stipulate how the NTC should be funded”, he stressed.
“It would appear that funding for the NTC is expected to come from the budgetary allocation of the MoE as its agency.
This is a worrying perspective given the increasing number of educational institutions in the country most of which are being funded from the MoE’s budgetary allocation”. He added.
He recommended that Sections 13 (5) and (6) of the 2008 Education Act (Act778) should be amended to make the NTC a fully autonomous professional body with the power to maintain and enhance teaching standards.
“The NTC should set standards for leadership in the teaching profession and come out with the set of attributes and skills required from teachers teaching at the initial teacher education institutions”, he added.
The educationist also recommended that the NTC must be granted financial independence without any subvention from government.