Govt to introduce entrance exams for teacher education admissions

Dr. Christian Addai-Poku, the Registrar of the National Teaching Council (NTC), has announced that the government plans to introduce an entrance assessment as part of the selection process for teacher education admissions. This measure aims to address the high failure rates in the Ghana Teacher Licensure Examination. During a press briefing on July 12, Dr. Addai-Poku mentioned that the Ministry and NTC are collaborating to strengthen regulatory systems for teacher education institutions and ensure compliance.

Dr. Addai-Poku emphasized that the NTC will ensure the availability of sufficient reading materials to help teacher trainees prepare adequately for the examination. The Teacher Licensure Exams were introduced in September 2018 as part of the government’s efforts to enhance teacher professionalism and teaching quality. These exams evaluate the competency and skills of newly trained teachers before they enter the classroom. The Council has conducted 10 licensure examinations covering essential professional skills, literacy, and numeracy.

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Dr. Poku disclosed that out of the 7,728 candidates who took the examination last May, only 1,277, representing 16.5 percent, passed the test, while the remaining 6,451 candidates failed. Dr. Addai-Poku cited the introduction of measures such as serialisation or item differentials to prevent cheating as one of the reasons for the high failure rates. Another contributing factor was the requirement for candidates to take the examination in institutions other than their parent establishments, which curbed malpractices.

Based on the examination results, it became evident that some candidates were not suitable for admission to teacher education institutions. The failures were particularly prominent among candidates from distance training institutions, calling into question the quality of products from distance and sandwich programs. Statistics provided by Dr. Addai-Poku showed that from 2019 to 2022, out of 61,882 regular candidates from colleges of education, 45,337 passed and 16,545 failed the exams. On the other hand, distance, sandwich, and online educational institutions had 52,137 candidates sit for the exams, with 29,383 failing and 22,755 passing.

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Candidates were given only one opportunity to take the examination in December 2023. Starting from 2024, the examination will be subject-based. The Minister of Education, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, stated that a committee chaired by Reverend Samuel Ntim Fordjour, the Deputy Minister of Education, has been established to investigate the causes of the mass failures and examine the quality of students admitted to teacher educational institutions and the selection procedures, among other factors.

The Ministry is committed to providing more opportunities for trainees to redeem themselves and pass the licensure examinations. Efforts are underway to establish processes that foster alignment between stakeholders in the educational sector to address the causes of the high failure rates in the examinations.

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