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Teaching Council Stops Licensure Exams

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The National Teaching Council (NTC) has put on hold processes for the licensure examination for all newly trained teachers in the country.

This, the NTC insists also involves all teachers who have already written the exams.

The NTC, an agency under the Ministry of Education, firmed up plans for the start of the exams amid protest from some teachers.

According to the NTC, teachers will now have to pass the special examination before being granted the licence to teach.

Suit

So far over 13,700 trainee teachers out of a total of 20,000 have registered for the examination.

Unsatisfied with the turns of events, the plaintiffs- Eric Froku Tetteh, Lydia Owusuwaa and Freeman Yeboah filed an application at the court seeking Judicial Review of National Teaching Council decision.

But Ebo Laine, lawyer for NTC appearing before an Accra High Court yesterday emphasized that the directive would be in force until a case in which the three plaintiffs have dragged the Council before court is disposed-off.

Cecelia Tuffour representing the Attorney-General, however did not oppose the request.

The judge, Ellis Asare Nyarko adjourned the hearing of the matter until October 25.

Claims

Lawyers for the applicants in an affidavit in support of the motion said that without amending the Ghana Education Service Act, 1995 that provides for the registration, employment and regulation of newly trained teachers, the Minister for Education and the NTC has directed the applicants and their colleagues to sit for a licensure exams failure of which, they will not be regarded as qualified teachers to teach in Ghana.

It said these new directives of the NTC and the Ministry of Education is not back by any legislative instrument as required by Article 11(7) of the 1992 Constitution adding that Article 23 of the 1992 Constitution enjoins all administrative bodies including the Ministry of Education and the NTC to act fairly and to comply with all requirements imposed on such bodies by law.

Lawyers or the plaintiffs further stated that in a supposed implementation of the decision, the Ministry of Education and the NTC created what they refer to as the National Teachers Standards for Ghana Guidelines.

According to the plaintiffs, the NTC has failed or refused to lay its new order for the licensure examinations to be undertaken and the accompanying guidelines before parliament for the minimum 21 days required by Article 11(7) of the 1992 constitution, publish same in the Gazette before for public and parliamentary scrutiny before same comes into force.

The teachers believe that the Ministry of Education, Ghana Education Service and the NTC have acted unfairly and unreasonably towards them who at all material times legitimately believed the they have complied with all the requirements for becoming teachers under section 18 of the Ghana Education Service Act, 1995.

Reliefs

As a result, the plaintiffs want the court to quash the decision to require the applicants and their colleagues to undertake the NTC’s Licensure Exams before being allowed to teach in any education institution in Ghana on grounds that it lacks any legislative authority.

They also seek a declaration that the decision of the NTC to require only the Applicants and the 2018 graduating class of teachers to acquire licenses is discriminatory and contrary to Article 17 of the 1992 Constitution.

The plaintiffs as well want an order that the Ministry of Education and NTC to place before Parliament a legislative instrument to pass their examination guidelines into law before implementing such orders or Guidelines.

By: Jeffrey De-Graft Johnson

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