The responsive action adopted by Ghana National Council of Private Schools (GNACOPS) to upgrade private school teachers to become trained teachers would have rendered over 203,672 private school teachers jobless.
This number of private school teachers would have come to add to the already staggering unemployment situation in the country and mount pressure on the government.
Base on this GNACOPS has partnered with the University of Education Winneba to develop two and a half tailored academic programme leading to the award of diploma and Degree in Basic Education, without compromising quality.
This programme is intended to ensure that all untrained private school teachers, who under the new educational reforms would have been rendered unemployed are to registered under GNACOPS Volunteer Service Scheme where they would undergo training to become qualified teachers.
Speaking exclusively to the Republic Press, (RP) the Executive Director of GNACOOPS, Mr Enoch Kwasi Gyetuah said the council took this decision after a research conducted in 2018 proved that over 80% of the total number of 203,672 private school teachers in over 22,000 pre-tertiary private institutions across the country have not received professional academic training.
Mr Gyetuah said this development posed a regulatory threat to the sustainability and regulatory standards in education having in mind the introduction of the current educational reforms concerning teacher employment.
He said the research further revealed that private school teachers were mostly Senior High School graduates with WASSCE certificates with a level of classroom teaching exposure but fail to meet the demands of the current educational reforms which emphasized that untrained teachers are not to be employed as teachers in the classroom in both private and public schools.
The Executive Director said when this directive was introduced by Ghana National Council of Private Schools it became a huge challenge because as part of the sanction was to take legal action by government against the school.
The programme was introduced by the passing of Education Regulatory Bodies Act, Act 1023, where mandate has been given to NATIONAL TEACHING COUNCIL (NTC) to allow only professional teachers to be engaged as teachers.
He said this untrained private school teachers’ programme has come at a time the country seeks to implement education regulatory Act 2020, ACT 1023, which is significantly at raising the quality of education and meeting global standards.
Mr Gyetuah said report on Basic Statistics and Planning Parameters for Basic Education in Ghana 2015/2016 commissioned by the Ministry of Education indicates that 95% of crèches in Ghana are owned by private entities, 54% of kindergartens are privately owned, 32% privately owned primary schools and 32% of Junior High Schools are also privately owned (EMIS 2016).
“So, if you look at these figures and the role private schools play the education sector in the country, it is prudent for the council to develop policies such as the above to train all untrained teachers to continue to deliver quality,” he stated.
The council also commended the government of Ghana for its role of financing and promoting education.
Impacts of the programme
Mr Gyetuah said prgramme is geared toward solving the unemployment situations that could arise from the demands of the new educational reforms, provide career opportunity for persons with the intention of becoming professional teachers and help upgrading private education and increase their competencies.
He said as part of the programme, it would afford the nation to have reliable and accurate database for workers in the private schools for future planning and decision making, increase capacity building for professionalism to help promote quality education delivery in Ghana and help private educational operators to meet the regulatory requirements.
Mr Gyetuah said the implementation of the upgrade programme should ensure that the private schools produce teachers of the highest professional standing, working under conditions of service.
“I call on all those involved in the implementation and managerial protocols of this programme in Ghana to wholeheartedly embrace this programme framework and use it as a career structuring path to help train and mainstream these potential persons to become professional teachers,” the Executive Director stated.