The National Teaching Council (NTC) with support from the Transforming Teacher Education and Learning (T-TEL) is rolling-out series of training for District and Regional level portfolio assessors in Accra, Tamale, Kumasi, and Cape Coast. The assessors would support schools to coach and mentor Newly Qualified Teachers (NQT); evidenced in professional portfolios to be assessed and moderated by the District and Regional Assessors respectively in line with National Teachers’ Standards (NTS) as part of teacher professionalism in Ghana.
The one – day workshop which was monitored by the News Desk of the Colleges of Education Weekly Journal (CoEWJ) on Tuesday, 15th September 2020 at Anita Hotel in Kumasi saw Regional and District Portfolio Assessors being taken through activities such as portfolio development where discussions and mini-presentations were made on portfolio content/rubrics and the roles of assessors. Participants at the workshop were also lectured on how to manage the relationship between portfolio assessors, lead mentors, and mentees who are the Newly Qualified Teachers (NQT). Participants were also equipped with the needed skills and tools for effective portfolio assessment in line with the National Teaching Standards (NTS).
In an exclusive interaction with the News Desk of CoEWJ after the workshop, one of the participants, Mr. Kennedy Ameyaw Baah who is the Ashanti Regional Portfolio Assessor and a tutor at Wesley College of Education, Kumasi stated that “today’s exercise has provided me with adequate information and education on portfolio assessment and the skills and tools for effective portfolio assessment. I look forward to integrating it in teaching and also in Supported Teaching in Schools (STS) where student teachers develop portfolios which are assessed by tutors every semester”.
The National Teaching Council’s mission is to promote excellence and professionalism among teachers and managers of schools by ensuring high standards at all levels of the education system through licensing of teachers, monitoring and supervision of teacher professional standards, and promotion of continuing professional development.
Teacher Licensing was introduced in 2018 for all final year Diploma in Basic Education (DBE) student teachers graduating from Colleges of Education. Licensing is an important step in operationalizing the Government’s intentions to raise the professional status of teaching in Ghana to improve learning outcomes across basic schools. The Government intends that every teacher needs to be registered and licensed to practice.
This License to practice will help to enhance the professional status of teaching as a profession, making it more attractive to new entrants and providing enhanced esteem to existing teachers. It will enable the Government to ensure that teachers are practicing their chosen profession in line with the National Teachers’ Standards (NTS) – a nationally agreed measure of what is required of a ‘good’ teacher. Licensing will thus play an important quality assurance function and, over time, demonstrate to the world that teachers trained through the Ghanaian system are performing to internationally recognized standards.
The initial Licensing process carried out in the second half of 2018 and the first half of 2019 involved the setting of written examinations for newly qualified teachers. These examinations were intended to test teachers’ knowledge of both the National Teachers’ Standards and the subject content which they will be expected to deliver in classrooms. On its own, a written examination is not sufficient to provide NTC with confidence that teachers are practically adhering to the NTS. It also reinforces the ‘examinations culture’ which is too prominent across the Ghanaian education system and which the Government is trying to rebalance with an increased focus on practical and continuous assessment.
The NTC intends that the written examination will form the first part of the Licensing process and that this will then be complemented with a Portfolio Assessment which forms the second part of the process. Both parts will be required to obtain a license.
Source: News Desk, Colleges of Education Weekly Journal