President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has indicated that the education ministry will soon roll out a policy for teachers that seeks to elevate the standard of education in Ghana.
Akufo-Addo has announced that a first degree would be the minimum qualification for individuals seeking entry into the teaching profession in the country,adding that the decision is aimed at raising the quality of education.
Some say this move will kill the spirit of those diploma-trained teachers in the education sector, something that will be inimical and thwart the progress of education in the country.
Meanwhile, teachers in the country have petitioned NAGRAT to intervene because such a move by Mr. Akufo-Addo represents the potential marginalisation of diploma holders in the education sector. Those who have pursued diploma programmes in education may now find themselves facing barriers to entry into teaching positions, despite having undergone specialised training for the profession.
They argued that the decision could result in a sense of disenfranchisement among diploma holders, who may feel their qualifications are being devalued. This could impact morale and motivation within the teaching workforce, as individuals who were previously eligible may now question their professional standing.
Furthermore, there may be concerns about the practical implications of this policy change for the availability of qualified teachers. Diploma programmes in education have traditionally served as a crucial pipeline for producing educators, especially in regions where access to universities might be limited. The shift to a first-degree requirement could potentially limit the pool of qualified teaching candidates, impacting schools in need of educators.
Another consideration is the potential economic burden on aspiring teachers. Pursuing a first degree often involves higher tuition costs and an extended duration of study compared to diploma programs. This change in entry requirements may inadvertently create economic barriers for individuals aspiring to join the teaching profession, particularly those who may face financial constraints in pursuing higher education.
However, it’s essential to recognise the positive intentions behind President Akufo-Addo’s decision. Elevating the educational qualifications for teachers is a step towards ensuring a higher standard of teaching, which can contribute to improved learning outcomes for students. A focus on academic excellence in the teaching profession aligns with the broader goal of enhancing the quality of education in Ghana.
As this policy is implemented, it will be crucial for the government to consider transitional arrangements and support mechanisms for diploma holders who are currently in the teaching profession or aspiring to become educators. This may involve providing opportunities for diploma holders to upgrade their qualifications through bridge programmes or professional development initiatives.
In conclusion, while Akufo-Addo’s decision to make a first degree the minimum qualification for teaching in Ghana signals a commitment to educational excellence, it necessitates careful consideration of the implications for diploma holders. Balancing the pursuit of higher standards with inclusivity and support for existing educators will be key to ensuring a smooth transition and fostering a teaching workforce that meets the evolving needs of Ghana’s education sector.
By Lawrence Odoom
Credit Nana Kwaku dua