In Ghana, Applicants wishing to pursue teacher education in any of the Teacher Training Colleges (TTC) now Colleges of Education (CoE) in the country will, from August this year, be made to write an entrance examination conducted by NTC.
About CoE Entrance Examination (GBEST)
The examination, to be known as the Ghana Basic Education Skills Examination Test (GBEST), will assess the students in numeracy and literacy and will be the basis for admission into teacher training institutions in the country.
The GBEST will, thus, be used as the entry assessment for the trainee teachers, and after completion, the students will be made to write a level and subject-based licensure examination to be qualified as professional teachers.
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The examination forms part of reforms being proposed by the National Teaching Council (NTC) to harmonize teacher education admissions in the country and also improve teacher education as part of the educational reforms.
The Registrar of the NTC, Dr. Christian Addai-Poku, said this at a one-day stakeholders’ engagement on the Ghana Teachers Licensure Examination (GTLE) in Kumasi.
The forum was attended by vice-chancellors of the universities, principals, and registrars of the colleges of education in the country and was to seek their input on the proposed reforms on the teacher licensure examinations and teacher education in the country.
He said the reforms were to ensure that students who applied to be trained as teachers had the required qualifications and disposition to become teachers.
Since the introduction of the Ghana Teacher Licensure Examination (GTLE) in 2018, Dr. Addai-Poku said the council had held seven successful examinations, where over 123,000 had sat for the examination in three subjects namely: literacy, essential professional skills and numeracy.
Out of this number, he said over 88,000 teachers passed, with 84 candidates who wrote it five times without success.
“Three hundred and seventy-two candidates have written it four (4) times but they are yet to pass. The mode of training of these candidates cuts across regular, online and distance programmes.
“How these candidates were able to pass through the teacher education programme successfully and yet are unable to pass basic skills in numeracy, literacy and essential professional skills remain unanswered,” he said.
The reforms, he said, were, therefore, to ensure that there was a uniform admission criterion for all teacher education institutions in the country, adding that those who pursued an education in other institutions such as the traditional universities would be made to write the GBEST before being allowed to do their Post-Graduate in Education course.
Aside from weeding out people not fit to teach from the system, he said the new reform would also help parents and students not waste time and resources training for a profession they were not fit for.
Besides, NTC GTLE Ghana PortaPrep Portal has been designed to guide prospective teacher trainees to practice and solve more questions before the Ghana Basic Education Skills Examination Test (GBEST)
Commenting on the teacher licensure examination, the sector minister, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, said it was not simply a means of ensuring that the teachers had what it took to teach the subject they had been recruited for.
He said for the country to have quality education, there was the need to ensure that those who taught the students had the required qualification.
The minister, thus, commended the NTC for coming out with the reforms to guide the training of teachers in the country.