Colleges of Education can admit as many qualified applicants as their available facilities could allow but without compromising quality and standards, Professor Kwesi Yankah, the Minister of State in Charge of Tertiary Education, has said.
He said the Ministry of Education would not introduce a quota system of admission which could prevent many prospective applicants from getting admissions into teacher training colleges.
Prof. Yankah was speaking at the 10th Congregation of Our Lady of Apostles (OLA) College of Education in Cape Coast at the weekend on the theme: “Promoting Quality Teacher Education for Transformation in Basic Schools”
In all, 365 students were awarded Diploma in Basic Education, Early Childhood Education and Science and Mathematics Education. Out of the number, five graduated with First Class Honours, 138 Second Class Upper Division, 157 Second Class Lower Division, 63 Third Class and one Pass.
Prof Yankah said: “The desire to upgrade the competence of teachers and uplift the image of the teaching profession has propelled the Ministry to set up the entry requirement for admission of prospective teachers into Colleges of Education.”
He said the colleges of education were not second rate tertiary institutions but specialised institutions that deserved to admit the highest qualified applicants for the teaching profession.
Prof Yankah said the allowance was not a bait to lure people into teaching but was to encourage those who genuinely desired to become teachers but could not afford the high cost of funding their professional education to undergo the training.
He said the Government recognised the important role teachers played in nation building and, as such, remained committed to initiating projects aimed at enhancing the quality of teacher education and ensure they delivered.
Prof. Yankah said interventions such as the Transforming Teacher Education and Learning Project sought to strengthen the teacher training sector to make it more responsive to the needs of the basic education sector.
He urged the teachers to seek continuous professional development and make it an integral part of their teaching profession to ensure they remained afloat and relevant.
Reverend Sister Elizabeth Amoako-Arhen, the Principal of OLA College of Education, said the nation needed selfless, dedicated, visionary, result-driven, God-fearing and ethical teachers and advised the graduands to work diligently to contribute their quota to nation building.