The Ministry of Education is being urged to create the necessary platforms that would encourage NGOs and private individuals to provide virtual learning to students in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Director of the Institute of Teacher Education and Continuing Professional Development at the University of Education Winneba, Professor Dominic Danso Mensah, says such efforts by these stakeholders were critical in providing access to quality education to all in the COVID-19 period.
He was speaking at the launch of a Radio Learning programme introduced by Festive Kids International Foundation (FKIF), a humanitarian Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) for Junior High School (JHS) students in Cape Coast.
The radio learning programme, a GBC collaboration, is to be aired on Radio Central in the Cape Coast Metropolis, but with a wider coverage within the whole of Central Region and beyond.
Prof Mensah noted that the challenge in internet connectivity coupled with the inability of rural parents to afford virtual learning programmes hindered the inclusive education and access in the face of the current Covid-19 crisis.
“The radio learning programme would significantly extend access to children in rural communities who were not hooked to other ongoing educational programmes on online platforms after the disruption of the academic calendar caused by the Covid-19 pandemic,” he assured.
He said the programmes would go a long way to compliment government’s efforts at promoting access to quality education, act as a backbone to quality education and also assist the country in achieving the SDG 4.
He was full of praise for the FKIF for the initiative and called on all who were concerned about inclusive education and the well-being of children to extend a hand of support to enable them extend their services to other regions and other levels of education in the country.
Central Regional Minister, Kwamena Duncan, in a speech read on his behalf by the Chief Budget Analyst at the Regional Coordinating Council , Bless Kwame Darkey, enumerated the efforts of the Council to improve education in the Region.
He revealed drastic measures taken in collaboration with the MMDCEs and the education directorates since 2017, was yielding positive results as more JHS pupils in public schools were gaining admission into the first class SHS in the Region.
The Regional Coordinating Council, he says, would give the programme the necessary attention and support to ensure that its dream of having pupils in basic schools get quality education became fruitful.
He admonished MMDCEs, Assembly members and traditional authorities to assist the new innovation and bring more children on board to benefit from the programme.
For his part, Engineer Augustus Yamson, Deputy Director-General of GBC, said GBC in the period of Covid-19, had instituted a number of programmes that were impacting positively on society especially rural communities.