This maiden policy brief by VIAM Africa Centre for Education and Social Policy, examines the current international experiences of using a teaching regulatory body to promote standards and enhance professionalism.
It offers recommendations for establishing a world-class teaching regulatory body in Ghana, capable of propping up cutting-edge teachers with the requisite knowledge, attributes and skills for a lifetime of teaching career
Eight years since the passage of the Education Act (Act 778) in 2008, Ghana is still struggling with implementing the espoused reform agenda, and there is widespread concern about the quality of education delivery at all levels, especially in relation to teacher education and professionalism. Despite the rhetoric of a National Teaching Council (NTC) as contained in the 2008 Education Act, a fully-fledged council has not yet been established after 8 years. In other countries, the teaching profession is well regulated by independent professional institutions to ensure that teachers possess the requisite attitudes, values and skills to teach.
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.
Although significant effort has been made to facilitate the implementation of the policy imperatives of the NTC, the present policy direction could potentially undermine the independence and autonomy expected of a professional regulatory body. Several policies of the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service appear 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. 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 quangos in the country most of which are being funded from the MoE’s budgetary allocation.
In light of these challenges, VIAM Africa recommends the following solutions:
1. 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.
2. The NTC should set standards for leadership in the teaching profession, and extend its mandate to register and license some category of teacher educators ( e.g. those who teach pedagogy);
3. There should be clarity on the set of attributes and skills required from teachers teaching at the initial teacher education institution
4. Finally, the NTC must be granted financial independence without any subvention from government.
Source: Prince Armah, Ph.D/[email protected]
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