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Dr Mathew Opoku-Prempeh, Minister of Education

NTC suspends Teacher Licensure Exam, Following a suit by three teacher trainees

BY MUNTALLA INUSAH/                           muntalla.inuah@dailyheritage.com.gh

ALL PROCESSES leading to the writing of Teacher Licensure Examination and subsequent issuance of license by the National Teaching Council (NTC) to college trainees for teaching in the country has been put on hold, the NTC has announced.

Since the NTC and the Minister of Education, Dr Mathew Opoku-Prempeh announced that taking the examination was the only means of teaching, many of those affected spoke against it and as result three of the affected students filed a writ to challenge the decision.

In court yesterday when the case was called, Ebo Laine, counsel for the NTC (2nd Respondent) told the court that they were yet to file their process and that all processes leading to the licensure examination had been suspended.

Reliefs

The applicants, Eric Froku Tetteh, Lydia Owusuwaa and Freeman Yeboah from the Presbyterian College of Education, Mampong Technical College of Education and Agogo Presbyterian College of Education respectively are praying the court “to quash the decision to require the applicants and their colleagues to undertake the licensure exam before being allowed to teach in any educational institution in Ghana on grounds that it lacks any legislative authority.”

They are also seeking a “declaration that the decision of the 2nd Respondent 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.

“An order that the Ministry of Education and the 2nd Respondent place before Parliament a legislative instrument to pass their examination guidelines into law before implementing such orders or guidelines” and “any other order (s) as this Honorable Court deems fit.”

Subject matter

It is the case of the applicants that having passed the University of Cape Coast examination and going through all the requirements of their various Colleges of Education, they were entitled to be posted by the Ghana Education Service to the various pre-tertiary educational institutions in Ghana to teach as had been done for all other teachers who graduated before them from 2009 till date.

The applicants argued that Article 23 of the 1992 Constitution enjoins all administrative bodies including the Ministry of Education and the 2nd Respondent to act fairly and to comply with all requirements imposed on such bodies by law.

They said the Ministry of Education, Ghana Education Service and the 2nd Respondent have acted unfairly and unreasonably towards the applicants who at all material times legitimately believed they had complied with all the requirements for becoming teachers under section 18 of the Ghana Education Service Act, 1995.

The applicants further said the 2nd Respondent by its new policies have striped the applicants and their colleagues of their status as teachers after going through all the training requirements imposed on them by their various Colleges of Education and obtaining pass marks in their final external examinations organised by the University of Cape Coast pursuant to the Colleges of Education Act, 2012 and the Ghana Education Service Act, 1995.

The other reliefs are as follows:

That the section 18 of the Ghana Education Service Act, 1995 that spells out the requirements for the acquisition of teacher licenses have not been amended despite the express provisions of section 31 of the Education Act, 2008 (Act 778) for such an amendment to be made by the Minister for Education.

That under the Ghana Education Service Act, 1995 regulatory regime, trainee teachers including the Applicants are made to understudy practicing teachers during their first year, after which they undertake one year’s teaching practice in schools determined by their Colleges and the Ghana Education Service and complete a research topic before being certified by the University of Cape Coast as having qualified to teach.

That all graduating teachers are made to teach for another period of 12 months after school within which the Ghana Education Service complete s the registration of such teachers by evaluating them and providing them with staff identification numbers.

That the Applicants have all successfully completed all the said requirements under the Ghana Education Service Act, 1995 except that the Education Service and the 2nd Respondent have refused to allow them to teach for the 12 months leading to their evaluation, full registration and employment.

They said, all other teachers who graduated after the passage of the Education Act, 2008 (Act 778) are teaching without writing any licensure exams or licenses apart from their certificates from the University of Cape Coast and registration by the Ghana Education Service under section 18 of the Ghana Education Service Act, 1995.

That the Minister for Education, the Ghana Education Service and the 2nd Respondent have no power under the Education Act, 2008 (Act 778) or any other law to exempt all other teachers who qualified after the passage of the Act in 2008 from licensing requirements under the Act or to restrict the licensing requirements to just the 2018 graduating class of teachers.

That the Minister of Education has failed or refused to carry out or comply with the transitional provisions of the Education Act, 2008 (Act 778) as amended and until such full compliance, the 2nd Respondent cannot purport to bring into being new requirements for the registration and licensing of teachers whatsoever.

That the actions and orders of the 2nd Respondent is illegal, arbitrary, discriminatory and unreasonable under the circumstances.

The case has been adjourned to October 25, 2018.

 

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