The Registrar of the National Teaching Council, Dr Christian Addai-Poku has announced that the high attrition rate in the nation’s education sector poses a great threat towards the future of the nation’s education and development.
He then appealed to the government and all other stakeholders to put in place the right measures to curb the situation to avoid the looming danger.
The Registrar stated that for instance, early this year a little over 16,000 Ghanaian teachers applied to the Department of Education in the UK for employment and by June 13th 2023, 10,000 of the applicants with Ghana Teacher Licenses had been certified to work in the UK without any further assessment (qualified teacher status test) by the UK government.
Dr Addai-Poku announced this when he delivered his welcome address during the first day of a two-day symposium that preceded this year’s Ghana Teacher Prize scheduled to take place on Thursday at Takoradi in the Western Region.
The symposium brought together education practitioners, academics and policymakers to discuss topical issues, created a major platform for various agencies to engage participants on important policy issues and also offered a stage for schools to exhibit some innovations emanating from their schools.
It further provided a forum for the shortlisted award winners to showcase some of the things they did differently to merit this national recognition as well as a deep dive into the theme of the year’s World Teachers Day celebration.
The Registrar posited that although the nation churns out a huge number of qualified teachers each year, the high attrition rate turns around to create shortage yearly across the country.
Dr Addai-Poku commended all stakeholders in the nation’s education space for their roles and efforts being made towards attaining the best education for the nation’s future leaders.
He pledged to collaborate with both local and international agencies that are ready to partner to shape the training and professionalism of the Ghanaian teacher so they could give their best towards the transformation of the nation’s economy.
The Deputy Minister for Education, in charge of the TVET Sector, Madam Gifty Twum Ampofo, stated that the theme for this year’s Ghana Teacher Prize, dubbed – ” The teachers we need for the education we want: The global imperative to reverse the teacher shortage” was apt and touches the spine of the crisis at hand, an examination of which will shed light on its multifaceted dimensions while advocating for a comprehensive solution.
She mentioned that “in a world that is rapidly advancing in its quest for knowledge acquisition, where it requires constant verification and authentication of information before learners can consume it, the role of teachers has never been more critical.
The Deputy Minister said teachers were not merely conduits of information; but rather the architects of the collective future, shaping the minds of the younger ones, fostering critical thinking, and instilling values and attitudes that transcend generations.
Madam Twum Ampofo said, “Let’s join the National Teaching Council and the Ministry of Education in this exploration to deal with the teacher shortage, acknowledging the fact that reversing the teacher shortage is a long-term endeavour that requires collaboration between governments, educational institutions, civil society, and private sector”.
Prof. Andy Ofori-Birikorang, former Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of Education, indicated that the role of teachers in the nation’s development agenda cannot underestimated saying that “teachers are responsible for the society’s health, harmony and prosperity, they are the architects and engineers of everything we call societal future.”
“Through the training teachers give to our children and, sometimes adults, they lay the foundation and erect on that foundation the progressive and prosperous society we yearn for”.
He recounted how through the instrumentality of teachers, they bring up children and show them the socio-cultural and moral compass of our society.