The National Teachers Council (NTC) of the Ministry of Education has announced that teachers will now have to pass a special examination before being granted the licence to teach. The move, according to the NTC, is to enforce discipline and eliminate non-performing teachers from the system, in accordance with the new Teachers Licencing Policy under the Education Act 778 (2008). Dr. Augustine Tawiah, Executive Secretary-designate of the National Teaching Council of the Ministry of Education, disclosed this in Accra last week at the closing ceremony of a five-day intensive in-service training workshop for teachers in the Greater Accra Region. The workshop which was attended by 297 subject teachers in the Primary, Junior and Senior High Schools was organised by the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) with support from the Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF). According to Dr. Tawiah, all formalities for the full implementation of the Act had been finalised and a secretariat to issue the licence had been established. He disclosed that beginning next January, the ministry would undertake re-registration of all teachers in the country to facilitate the issuance of the licences. He said, no teacher could teach in any school in the country without the Teacher’s Licence from next year. Dr. Tawiah explained that renewal of the licence would be based on professional competence and development of teachers, stressing that, all teachers would be expected to renew their licence within three to five years. “There are some teachers who, right after graduation from the training colleges, do not upgrade their knowledge in their subject areas and also do not upgrade their teaching skills and methodology. Teachers who would apply for renewal of licence must prove they have personally undertaken some professional upgrading of knowledge and skills” he said. Dr. Tawiah mentioned that teachers who teach students to fail continuously in examinations like the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE), the West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) and other local and national examinations would not get their licences renewed. He emphasised that the licence was to get rid of lazy and non-performing teachers in the educational sector, adding that it would require teachers to prove their competence and achieve results, in their areas of specialisations. Dr. Tawiah noted that new teachers would receive their licences after graduation next year, but those already in the system must provide evidence and prove to the ministry of their achievements in the teaching profession to renew their licence. He disclosed that, the ministry and the National Teaching Council (NTC) would soon embark on public education and deepen consultations on the new Teacher’s Licensing Policy to ensure a smooth take-off next year. The National President of GNAT, Paul Agyei Boakye disclosed that, the in-service training for teachers in the Greater Accra Region was the third and last training workshop for teachers this year after a similar one in the Western and Central Regions. He encouraged participants to let what they had learnt at the workshop reflect in their teaching when they return to their respective schools. He also advised the participants and teachers in general, to be punctual at school and avoid absenteeism. Mr. Boakye expressed gratitude to the CTF delegation to Ghana for the collaboration in the in-service training workshop for teachers in the country. Mr. Lyle Watling, Team Leader of CTF, disclosed that GNAT and CTF collaboration dated back some 20 years ago. According to him, the collaboration had been mutually beneficial and reiterated their commitment to support Ghanaian teachers. The Deputy General Secretary of GNAT in-charge of Education and Professional Development, Mr. Thomas Baafi, disclosed that two new components of training were added to this year’s workshop. These are the New Entrant Programme to help newly trained teachers to integrate smoothly into the teaching profession, and the “Nkabom Project” to assist teachers in deprived communities with professional training and teaching materials.