The Ministry of Education, the National Teaching Council (NTC) and UNESCO have facilitated the development of a National Teacher Policy (NTP) towards providing political leadership and policy direction for addressing challenges in the Teaching profession.
The development of this policy is at the Teacher-feedback stage where, the input of teachers on the ground are sought to put the policy in a better shape.
This policy is to help in addressing policy dimensions in the areas of teacher recruitment and retention; initial and continuing teacher education; deployment; career structure; teacher employment and working conditions; as well as teacher reward and remuneration among others.
The initiative, dubbed the Norwegian Teacher Initiative (NTI) and funded by the Norwegian Government, aims at strengthening the teacher policies of selected developing countries in Africa as integrated components of their education sector plans for the achievement of the teacher target of the Sustainable Development Goals – Goal 4 (Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all).
Though leadership of the various Teacher Unions were part of the team that developed the policy, the National Teaching Council and UNESCO have been engaging teachers in the country presenting to them the intricacies of the National Teacher Policy so that the teachers working in various schools can make their input.
This kind of engagement is being held for teachers across the country spanning four (4) days.
A Senior Officer at the National Education Reforms Secretariat, Mr. Kwasi Addae Boahene in an interview with Angel News has stated that the National Teacher Policy would help make the life of the teacher and their efficiency at work better.
He intimated that “The Comprehensive National Teacher Policy for Ghana is underpinned by basic value-based principles that teachers are expected to imbibe to impact their schools and community. The community culture of Ghanaian people influenced the list of values that have been highlighted in this policy which include Dignity, Integrity, Inspiration, Respectfulness, Fairness, Continuous Self-Learning, Inclusiveness and excellence.
The framers of the policy aligned the existing policies, core values, and the tenets of teaching profession to develop the dimensions and the resulting policy statements. It is believed that with adherence to these values teachers will contribute positively to the transformation of their learners”.
The Comprehensive National Teacher Policy for Ghana provides an overarching direction and vision for the teacher to achieve predetermined sectoral objectives under the following thematic dimensions:
1. Teachers’ Standards and Professionalism
2. Teacher Recruitment and Retention
3. Teacher Education and Continuous Professional Development
4. Teacher Deployment
5. Teacher Career Structure and Progression
6. Teacher Working Conditions
7.Teacher Recognition and Rewards System
9. School Governance
10. Social Inclusion
11. Social Dialogue.
Under the new policy, Ghana National Association of Private Schools (GNAPS) and the Private Universities Association of Ghana (PUSAG) shall be required to ensure that: a. infrastructure (including ancillary facilities) provision at their educational institutions to support the work of teachers meet minimum requirements set by the NIB/NAB b. educational resources to support teaching and learning are meeting minimum approved standards set by the NIB/NAB c. teachers abide by the provision of the CNTP.
During the four-day engagement, Teachers were taken through the Draft Teacher Deployment and Transfer Strategy which after its adoption, will ensure a more responsive deployment system that is able to respond to where teachers are needed and to ensure a better geographical distribution of teachers and further ensure that Pupil-Teacher Ratios(PTRs) in individual schools do not rise to levels that negatively impact the quality of education, particularly for example where at JHS level teaching is subject-based rather than class-based and where there is therefore a need to deploy teachers to meet subject-based demands.
Draft Teacher Deployment and Transfer Strategy is again aimed at improving the efficiency of teacher deployment and ensuring that the allocation is equitable is not possible without a system that is based on local-level enrollment data, in order to match Pupil-Teacher Ratios and resources appropriately.
The Strategy, therefore, includes a review of Staff Establishment at the Pre-tertiary Education Level, Human Resource Processes for Deployment, Deployment Incentives for Deprived Areas and the roll out of a data-driven deployment system.