The Ministry of Education is on course with the government’s plan to transform Ghana into a “learning nation,” Deputy Minister of Education, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum has stated.
This ambition he said, is anchored by the Education Strategic Plan (ESP) 2018-2030, mainly in response to the SDG 4 Goal and it revolves around improving the quality of “education for all.”
The main focus is to improve pupils’ learning outcomes and ensure an overall impact of education on national capacity building and socio-economic development.
Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum made these known at the 2019 Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES), held in San Francisco, USA, from April the 14-18.
Speaking on the topic “Aligning the Government of Ghana priorities and strategies in Education; opportunities for sustainability,” the Deputy Minister stated that the ESP 2018-2030 had three key objectives, namely, Improved equitable access to and participation in inclusive education at all levels; Improved quality of teaching and learning and STEM at all levels and Sustainable and efficient management, financing and accountability of education service delivery.
The Deputy Minister spoke on the curriculum reforms, free senior high school, teacher reforms, among others, as propelling the vision.
Dr. Adutwum noted that the four major components of the USAID ‘Partnership for Education Learning project’ aligned with that of the Ministry’s priority of ensuring that all KG and Primary school children develop early grade reading and maths foundational skills.
He noted that currently, the Learning project had developed, printed and distributed over 32,000 books including Pupils’ Books, Teacher Guides, and Alphabet Strips to beneficiary schools under the Teaching and Learning Material module.
This he added, was being implemented in over 7,200 primary schools in 100 districts across the country, applied in 11 GES-approved Ghanaian languages, involving over 38,000 teachers, head teachers and curriculum leads in over 700,000 pupils.
Teaching and learning
On Effective Teaching Strategies, Dr. Adutwum indicated that the Learning project trained the teachers in the use of a systematic phonic-based teaching methodology (scripted lesson) which had been proven very useful in improving pupils’ reading performance.
The Ministry he indicated, had also developed the electronic-based monitoring system – the Fidelity of Implementation (FOI) Monitoring System, which was being used by major stakeholders in monitoring the progress of implementation, identifying challenges and taking constructive decisions to improve implementation and accountability.
The Learning project, he added, had made great impact in key areas for the improvement of education delivery, namely, material development, teacher training, on-going pedagogical support and school visits; and monitoring for fidelity and learning outcomes.
He, however, identified some gaps that needed to be filled in the current implementation and in the way forward as helping the Ghanaian child to transition from their local language to English Language, strengthening school leadership to support improved learning outcomes, and parental engagement and support to reading by early graders.
Dr. Adutwum applauded the organisers of the conference for the opportunity for countries such as Ghana to share some of the innovations to improving pupils learning outcomes, especially, in reading performance.
He was of the belief that the presentations from Ghana will open up more opportunities, such as the Ghana Accountability and Learning Outcomes Project (GALOP), to foster stronger collaboration to improve its education system.
He commended the USAID Learning Project as making a meaningful impact on the learning outcomes in Ghana.
There were presentations from Dr. Akwasi Addae Boahene, Chief Technical Advisor, Transforming Teacher Education and Learning (T-TEL) on ‘Sustaining Change in the Quality of Teaching: Successes in Reforming the Teacher Education System in Ghana and Dr. James Dobson, PhD of the USAID/Ghana Education Office on ‘Supporting Ghana’s Education System Post-aid’.