Is Teaching a Profession in Ghana? A profession is an occupation, trade, craft or activity in which one has professed expertise in a particular area; or a job, especially one requiring a high level of skills or training. According to Webster’s Dictionary, a profession is defined as “a calling requiring specialized knowledge and often long and intensive academic preparation”. From the definition, profession is seen as lifelong in nature and professionals in the field earn living as they practice. A profession is characterized by some standards. Adentwi (2002) indicated that the most important of all the traits of a profession among others include, a defined body of knowledge and skills beyond the grasps of lay men, a lengthy period of special training, control over licensing standards and entry requirement, autonomy in making decisions about sphere of work and high prestige and economic standing. In reality the teaching profession in Ghana as other professions cannot be rated on a different standard as compared to other professions in the world at large. Therefore for the teaching in Ghana to be fully described as a profession it must meet all the standards and characteristics that qualify to become fully fledged profession. In contrast, the teaching profession is far below the standard as per the characteristics of a profession, and below are some explanations of profession that attest to the fact that teaching profession in Ghana especially pre-tertiary is not a profession. Foremost of all, a formal period of preparation and specialized training is required for all professions. Members of a profession are required to have prolonged specialized knowledge and training based on the profession. The teaching profession takes exception to that. It has rather a relatively short period of training as compared to other profession like law, engineering, medicine etc. The short period of training equip teachers with the requisite competencies and knowledge in a specific subject area like mathematics, science etc. and skills to deliver such knowledge to learners. Therefore teaching is the way or mode of delivering the specialized content matter to learners and does not make it a full profession. In its broadest sense, teaching is a process that facilitates learning. A typical mention can be made of the law teacher, nurse teacher, medical teacher etc. They are not describe as professional teachers but rather full lawyers, nurses and medical doctors who through the medium of teaching passes on the specialized knowledge to learners in the field. Secondly, there is a degree of autonomy of decision making accorded to the professionals. Members of every profession have opportunities to make decisions about important aspects of their work. This is not so in Ghana as the teaching profession’s autonomy has been severely suppressed. Teachers’ daily professional decision making in diagnosing educational needs, prescribing and implementing instructional programs, and evaluating the progress of students are been decided by government. The subjects, contents, textbooks and other instructional materials to be used for teaching are taken care of by the state officials and the government. Thirdly, a profession has control over licensing, professional development, ethical and performance standards, and professional discipline. As professionals, teachers are governed in their professional relationships with other members, school boards, students and the general public by rules of conduct set out in the Association’s Code of Professional Conduct. The code stipulates minimum standards of professional conduct for teachers. This is not the case in Ghana as the professional associations like GNAT and NAGRAT have no control over recruitment, training and certification of its members. The code of ethics set out to ensure high level of professional conducts among members is flaunted with impunity. Both GNAT and NAGRAT even lack the disciplinary powers to enforce its code of conducts. Last but not least, every profession has influence over education standards, recruitment and requirement entry; however this is not the case of teaching profession in Ghana. For many professions there is a uniform entry requirements unlike teaching, GNAT and NAGRAT have no knowledge and control over entry requirements of teachers into the profession. This is because entry requirements are greatly influenced by governmental needs and policies. Therefore people of different educational backgrounds are recruited into the service as pupil teachers and nonprofessional teachers. Some benefits of being a member of a professional body include: 1. Appendage of designatory letters after one’s name for worldwide recognition 2. Perceive as someone who may be subjected to disciplinary code in case of misconduct 3. Ability to work anywhere in the world with qualifications and credentials 4. Ability to set up one’s own personal practice or consultancy, subject to obtaining a practising certificate or licence from one’s professional body 5. One is always in currency as one is constantly updated by one’s Association on current best practice, research papers and outcomes of experimentation, trials etc. through journals, newsletters and bulletins. 6. Members are marketed indirectly when their professional bodies publish members’ list who are in good standing with it. In view of the above argument as espoused, one realizes that the teaching profession in Ghana especially pre-tertiary teaching falls short of the standard required of a profession. Teachers at the Basic school level, are considered generalists and therefore cannot claim to be experts in their field as other professionals like legal and medical officers. Teaching must be recognized as a basic human art more than it is a professional practice like medicine or law. Teaching must be seen as only a means of professing one’s expertise and not a profession in itself.