Education Minister speaks at
Innovation Africa 2019 Summit in Accra
MINISTER of Education, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, has stated that over the years the Ghana has made significant progress in the educational sector with the formation of the numerous new education sustainable reform policies which had prepared the Ghanaian child to compete with the best globally.
Mining no words, the sector, therefore, called on the relevant stakeholders in the education front to offer practical suggestions for innovations and technologies that could be adopted to bring about necessary changes and results for the education sector.
Dr. Prempeh who made the call when was addressing the participants in the opening ceremony of a two day Innovation Africa 2019 Summit in Accra yesterday noted the new of reforms are charges and policies insisted by the current government to better educational structures or systems in the country.
The two day event was jointly hosted by both the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Communications under the official patronage of the government of Ghana.
He told the participants which were brought from other African countries that the government of Ghana would continue with its bold resolve to transform the education sector and called for international community to help provide education to all the children in the country.
According to him, Ghana has made a significant progress in her drive to push the education and skills training of her people as important part of making her a successful, industrialised and confident nation.
He asserted that it goes without saying that education is the shortest distance between deprivation and prosperity and deserves the utmost attention of any nation.
He mentioned that when the New Patriotic Party NPP government of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo took office in January 2017, the landscape of the education sector was bleak.
The sector minister cited the teacher absenteeism rate took at 30 per cent to 9 per cent, 45 per cent of all candidates failed mathematics in 2015, only 2 percent of primary 6 pupils were proficient in English, there were huge outstanding bills from unpaid capitation grants, supply of textbooks and school uniforms, laptops and vehicles, among others, amounting to over US$ 71 million.
He added that about 100,000 children a year who passed the Basic Education Certificate Education (BECE) and were placed in senior high schools did not take up their offer, primarily due the financial reasons.
This, according to Dr Prempeh 28 to 30 percent of all BECE candidates, adding that there was no graduate teacher recruitment between 2012 and 2015.
He maintained that the teacher training allowance, a core component of teacher training education in this country for many years, had been abolished.
“It was clear that something.had to be done across all levels of our education system, and quickly so, if we were to give our young citizens any hope of a solid future through the inevitable power of quality education,” Dr Prempeh advised the stakeholders in educational sector in Africa.
He pointed out as nation, “one of the first tasks we set ourselves was to have a review of our pretertiary curriculum, and at the beginning of this academic year in September 2019, Ghana Education Service rolled a new standard based curriculum for our schools at the basic level with 152, 000 teachers trained and supplied with teacher resource packs to deliver the new curriculum.
He added that at the basic level, the government of Ghana through the Ministry of Education has constructed 227 structures across the country, including kindergarten, three and six unit blocks to improve access.
He further cited the increase in the Capitation Grant amount from GH¢4.5 per student per year to GH¢10.00 per student per year for 2017/18 academic year, saying the 122 percent upsurge in per capita Capitation Grant, was expected to remove cost barriers to free access and provide schools with minimum amount of funds required to keep schools running.
Again, within the period under review, Kindergarten to Primary curriculum was completed, and roll-out was set to commence in September when the 2019/2020 academic year starts, he said.
Dr Opoku Prempeh said with the revised curricular, emphasis has been placed on the acquisition of foundational reading, writing, arithmetic and creativity skills, explaining that ahead of the implementation, all the necessary teaching and learning materials have been developed and training of teachers for delivery were currently ongoing across the country.
He said at the Secondary level, there was evidence that cost barriers constrained access and effective participation for many eligible students with indications showing that every year, an average of 100,000 Junior High School (JHS) graduates who qualified and were placed in public Senior High Schools (SHS) failed to enroll.
“We boldly confronted the challenge and rolled out Free SHS in 2017, essentially removing cost barriers to secondary education. The response been a phenomenal increase in Secondary level enrolment”.
He said significantly, the percentage of students placed that fail to enroll had declined from 27 percent (111,336 students) of all students placed in 2016 to 11 percent (53,107 students) of all students placed in 2018.
The Minister also touched on the fact that within the period, teacher training curriculum has been revised to adequately equip them for the delivery of the national curriculum, and further upgraded pre-service teacher training from a 3-year Diploma in Basic Education to a 4-year Bachelor of Education Degree Programme
He said to facilitate this, our Colleges of Education have been affiliated to various public Universities and in addition, specializations have been introduced, hence, teachers would now specialize to teach at Kindergartens and specific subjects at the Basic level.
Source: myafricatoday.net/ Azietrogah AWLESU