Sixteen thousand newly trained teachers have so far been registered by the National Service Secretariat to perform their mandatory one-year national service.
This followed a successful dialogue and signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Ministry of Education and National Service Secretariat on one side and the Coalition for the newly Trained Teachers, Teacher Trainee Advocates and Teacher Trainee Association of Ghana on the other side.
Earlier this month some newly trained teachers protested against government’s directive for them to perform national service, arguing that they were not been informed before completion of their respective courses at the various University Colleges of Education.
Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, the Minister of Education, addressing journalists at the Meet-the-Press series in Accra on Tuesday, said his outfit had done no wrong in implementing a directive established by law.
“National Service is in the law and we’re bringing newly trained teachers to fulfill the law, therefore, we didn’t do it arbitrarily,” Dr Opoku Prempeh said.
The Education Minister said the law made it obligatory for graduates from the various tertiary educational institutions in the country holding diploma and degree certificates to perform national service, without which they cannot be employed.
In view of that, he said, the National Service Secretariat wrote to all government agencies, including the Ghana Education Service (GES) to remind them on the need to employ only people who had performed their national service.
He said before the GES would employ teachers, it put prospective employees on probation for a year, while the National Teaching Council was also supposed to take teachers through an induction for a year as part of the assessment procedure to ensure that only qualified teachers were deployed to teach.
Therefore, what the Education Ministry sought to achieve was to consolidate the probation and induction so that the two exercises could be done concurrently, he said.
“So we hope that by the time they finished the national service, GES would have declared vacancies and the formal process you could be enrolled as a full-time employee would be done- your biometrics would be taken, the IPPD will be done and that is what we’re seeking to do.
“We’re not seeking to discriminate against anybody because nurses who qualified for national service are doing it and even if you have gone to the university to do your PhD and you’ve not done your service, you’ve to do it before you can be employed,” the Minister said.
The Education Minister gave the assurance that the National Standard Framework, which would serve as the benchmark for assessing the quality of education in the country would be passed soon so that the Framework would guide the assessment of the standard of education in Ghana.
He said the measurement of the quality of education is multifaceted involving the assessment of teaching, curricula, teaching and learning materials, capacity of teachers, among others, saying “the shortest cut to success and eradication from poverty is education”.
In this regards, he said, successive governments had been implementing various education reforms since 2012 to enhance the quality of education in the country and ensure that it is comparable to the best education standards worldwide.