National Council of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) is up in arms against the decision by the National Teaching Council (NTC) to compel public sector teachers across the country to attend Continuous Professional Development (CPD) training programmes at a fee.
According to the highest decision-making body of the oldest teacher union in the country, such training programmes lies outside the mandate of the NTC.
A communique issued by the Council after deliberating on several issues pertaining to the profession at Ejisu, near Kumasi over the weekend said, “The National Council endorses Leadership of the Association’s opposition to the National Teaching Council arrogating to itself the Continuous Professional Development of Teachers, which is the onus of the employer, and going forward to entrust the said CPD to its private service providers which claim to be experts in teacher education, CPD and education research, and compelling teachers to attend their fee-paying CPD programmes.”
The GNAT National Council asked the NTC to work within its mandate as stipulated under the Education Act.
“The National Council endorses again, the leadership of the Association’s call on the NTC to stay within its mandate as an advising body to the Minister of Education on matters relating to the professional standing, licensing of teachers, and coordinating and harmonizing the effective and efficient delivery of basic and senior high education in the country. In this vein, Council calls on the NTC and the District Directors of Education to cease compelling teachers to attend the fee-paying CPD programmes being run by its assigns forthwith,” it added.
Under the Education Act, 2008 (Act 778), the National Teaching Council is mandated to improve the professional standing and status of teachers and to license and register teachers in Ghana.
The government, as part of measures to improve the professional standing of teachers last year introduced the Continuous Professional Development allowance for professional and non-professional staff of the Ghana Education Service (GES).
Traditionally, the GES, as the employer of public sector teachers across the country has been designing and implementing in-service training programmes for teachers.
Since the introduction of the CPD allowance, the National Teaching Council, in partnership with a number of District Directorates of Education has taken upon itself to organize workshops for teachers at a fee not uniform across the country.
News Ghana sources indicate that teachers within the Tema Metropolis were made to pay 75 Ghana cedis per person for the CPD training programme.
In the Kumasi Metropolis, the teachers were charged 65 Ghana cedis for the same training programme by the NTC while some districts in the Volta region our sources indicate were asked to pay 50 Ghana cedis.
A teacher who preferred to stay anonymous said, “The political crooks at the NTC are just taking advantage of using this license thing to milk poor teachers. The responsibility of the government is being forced down the throats of teachers. Teachers are now vulnerable.” Enditem