The National Teaching Council within the last three years have taken giant steps in the registration and licensing of pre-tertiary teachers at both public and private sector.
For proper functioning, coordination and regularisation of the licensing processes, a lot more sensitisation exercises have been conducted and this article intends to turn the spotlight on some of the key areas.
1. First is renewal of licence. Like all other professional bodies ( GBA, GMA et.al ), a licence is the legal authorisation for practicing and there are procedures detailing how such licences can be acquired or renewed.
The National Teaching Council with its functions highlighted in clause 60 of the Education Regulatory Bodies Act ( ACT 1023) has defined roadmap for acquisition and renewal of licences.
An in-service teacher is expected to renew his/ her licence every three years on condition that the teacher has
i. lived within the confines of the code of ethics and professional standards
ii. met the required CPD points at the current rank within the 3 year TCPD cycle
iii. passed the portfolio assessment
To retain the licence, an individual
Teacher must earn the stipulated minimum credit points of the current rank within three (3) years prior to licence renewal date. However, teachers are required to meet one-third of their training points in a year to determine their professional standing status for a particular year.
With reference to the CPD framework, “TCPD activities are documented in Teachers’ Logbook as backup records which are transposed to the teacher’s online account. Names of certified activities are saved in the portal for CPD providers to select and award points to teachers who may attend that programme. In addition to the TCPD points, teachers are also mandated to build their own portfolio for assessment and these two (TCPD points and Portfolio Assessment Grade) are used to determine the professional standing of the teacher.
Should a teacher meet the TCPD point requirements but fails in Portfolio Assessment or the other way, that teacher cannot renew his or her licence and cannot practice as a teacher according to the Teacher Regulatory ACT of Ghana”
The “Framework For Continuous Professional Development of Teachers, published in 2020 serve as a guide for teachers and service providers to implement CPD programs. It captures CPD expectations and recommended CPD points for teachers at each rank and also provide formulas for calculating TCPD points for the respective ranks.
2. The teachers’ portal is a means for teachers to access TCPD activities or programs ( either online or Face-2- face) from Accredited Service Providers on
Demand. These CPD activities differ across the ranks.
For every training program, the following are addressed..
– name of the CPD provider
– category of training.
– points to be acquired.
Training programs are designed to match the needs of the assigned rank, a basic level or a category of teacher ( either teaching or non- teaching). With all these information, the teacher is in position to opt for an appropriate training.
On the teachers’ portal, one can click training programs to access all available trainings being offered by CPD providers.
3. At the end of the 3 years, each teacher is required to score a specific number of points based on his or her rank. The points differ across the ranks.
Rank 1 ( Superintendent II ) and Rank 10 ( Director I) are required to gain 60 and 110 points respectively at the end of the 3 years.
For a teacher on the rank of Principal Superintendent (rank 5), the assigned points for 3 years is 80.
Each year, the teacher on rank 5 is expected to amass 7.33 points for a rank based training, 10 points for a mandatory training and 9.33 points for recommended training, all translating to 26.66points in a year .
4. Teachers are to build points from activities grouped under Mandatory, Ranked Based and Recommended activities and not all trainings attract the payment of a fee.
Recommended trainings or activities that can fetch points include completing an accredited education programme leading to the award of a Post Graduate Diploma/Degree, participating in school- or cluster-based workshop, being an active member of registered teacher union, planning or facilitating a short course at the school or district level, keeping a reflective journal or diary, using the lessons learnt from reading of journals and books to improve teaching practice or assessment etc.
Again, NTC has partnered organisations such as Commonwealth of Learning, Instill Education etc to offer free online courses. These courses also come with CPD points and certificates.
5. Teachers are not restricted to access training from only one source and are also not obliged to access every paid Professional Development activity.
Supply driven programs from the employer can also be accessed either at the school level through Professional Learning Communities-PLC (School Based, Departmental Based or Cluster Based) Community of Practice-CoP (Workshop for Heads of Institutions or School Improvement Officers (SISO) or teachers for a particular subject or teachers of a particular class (BS3, BS1, KG2) or teachers assigned with common roles and responsibilities.
In most cases, it’s the demand driven programmes ( those organised by NTC Certified Service Providers) that require the payment of a fee.
In such situations, teachers have the right to negotiate for their own payments and also decide on which one they may want to attend.
In the nutshell, teacher licensing is integral in the career growth and development of teachers and professional development is a useful tool not only for renewal of licences but also for job placement, and promotions/upgrading.