The latest Teacher Union to emerge in the Ghana Education Service, All Teachers Alliance Ghana (ATAG) has lauded the move by the Ghana Education Service (GES) to licence teachers, contrary to the view been opposed by major Teacher Unions including the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT).
According to a statement issued by ATAG and copied to EducationGhana, the Union indicated,that though other unions have spoken concerning the policy, they believed their outburst is misplaced.
The Union claimed it was aware that the policy is not a wholesale one and will grind through the wheels of piloting and testing before it would be enrolled totally.
“We want to state emphatically that we in the All Teachers Alliance Ghana (ATAG) are not against the initiative because licencing of teachers aim at protecting the institution and authorizes the individual to practice what he/she has been trained to do as a teacher”,the statement indicated.
The group urged all its members including all other teachers not to be alarmed about the various spinning on the policy.
The policy which was hatched 2008 was meant to overhaul the profession and to make it benchmark for quality education.
The Union also cautioned teachers not to put political capital on the ongoing discussions but approach it with intellectualism and remain optimistic that the licensing might even end up solving the predicaments they always lament about.
Meanwhile,the Union suggested that in order to ensure vigilance and best practices, ATAG expects the implementation authorities to clarify issues by responding to these questions:
(a)Will the licencing upgrade the professional status of teachers? By this we mean to ask whether our condition of service will be properly captured on paper and adhered to.
(b)Will the licencing guarantee automatic upgrading after one has taken the examination or it must be renewed whenever it expires? Because we fear regular writing of examination willresult in teacher apathy and demoralization.
(c)Whether teachers who failed the exams will be given the second chance to prove their professionalism or are going to be demoted for life? Whether teachers on their current ranks might get their rankings reversed in case their performance fall below expectation.
The Union said it implore the leadership of GNAT,which holds the bargaining power of teachers, to be very vigilant and ensure that they don’t messed up with any affront negotiations that may come up.
“The fall out in the single spine salary arrears is still fresh on the minds of teachers”.
The Statement however stated that in as much that the Union welcomed the new policy, it will also resist anything, without fear and panic, that will put the dignity of teachers into disrepute.
The Union therefore admonish National Teachers Council (NTC) to do broader consultation with stakeholders and spell out explicit modalities of the program.