Why I Am Disappointed in GNAT and the Deputy General Secretary of GNAT

teachers' licensure exam

On a special edition of News file, a TV program on the Joy News Channel which was held at UPSA today(28-12-2019), the Deputy General Secretary of GNAT, Mr Awotwe Nkansah appeared on the program to make his contribution.

He was asked by the host of the program, Evans Mensah as to whether GNAT supports the position of the former president, John Mahama on the cancelation of the writing of teachers‘ licensure exam and he boldly said , GNAT as a union does not support the cancelation of the examhttps://www.ghanateachers.org/ and that, the union is OK with the current arrangement introduced by the National Teaching Council under the Nana Addo – led government.

RELATED: Mahama to Cancel Teacher Licensure Exams in 2021

I was shocked, disappointed in GNAT and amazed hearing this from my union leader because, that is not the true reflection of what the Ghanaian teacher believes .

In as much as I agree with him that, we teachers need license in order to help distinguish between who a professional teacher is and who is not, who said this can only be done through the writing of examination?
With the current system, newly trained teachers are expected to write the licensure examination and pass before they are posted.

Ideally, this should not be a problem but newly trained teachers who read Early Childhood Education and General Programs and did not do Elective Maths as part of their 3 years in training college, are expected to write licensure exam which contains Elective Maths questions.

Is this not a subtle attempt to deliberately fail some people and allow only a few to be employed?
The former president, John Dramani intends to license teachers based on the exhibition and application of teaching methods the teachers were taken through during their training and I think, this is the most appropriate way of licensing teachers but not asking newly trained teachers to write an examination based on what they were not taught.

Which method of assessment requires that you examine your students in areas they have no knowledge about or on a course they have not been taught ?

Mr Nkansah should be made to understand that, he has the right to demand for the reduction in the teachers’ licensure exam cost but does not have the right to speak on behalf of teacher trainees and newly trained teachers as they are not yet members of the association and they are the ones bearing the brant of the implementation of this policy .

Mr Nkansah should be reminded that, the joining of the teaching profession by newly trained teachers , has a direct correlation with the growth in the membership of the teacher unions and his continue stay in office as a GNAT executive and as such, he should be seen having empathy for newly trained teachers and those currently undergoing training and join them to resist the writing of the exam.

In any case, if Mr Nkansah believes that teachers should be licensed through examination, why should those graduating from the colleges of education be the only ones to write the exam and not those already in the teaching profession?

Is he assuming this position because he is not going to be affected with the sustaining of this policy? I challenge Mr Nkansa and other GNAT executives to request for the past questions of the two licensure examination papers and compare it with the courses being runned at the training colleges and I am certain he and his colleagues will rescind their decision and support the position of the former president to cancel the examination.

The right way forward is to back the position of the former president in canceling the licensure examination which has become an albatross around the necks of trainees and newly trained teachers.

I call on all Civil and Society Organizations , and all well meaning Ghanaians to join the campaign to cancel the writing of the licensure examination . Teachers should be assessed for the license based on the competence they exhibit in the classroom and not write exam on topics they are not taught.

Seidu Sulley,
A concerned teacher

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