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What implementation strategy for the new curriculum, GES?

BY: Evelyn Agyepong
Minister of Education, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh
Minister of Education, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh

If you search for the New 2019 GES curriculum online you will be inundated with loads of detail about what is happening in September 2019.

That is some two and half months away.

In April of this year, there was a huge media announcement about the new 2019 syllabus roll out.

As I write, as the Education Director of a private basic school, we are yet to have any official engagement about this new syllabus.

In fact, even getting hold of the official copies of the syllabus is a real challenge.

I remember trying for about three hours, one afternoon, to contact the Ghana Education Service (GES), the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA) and the National Inspectorate Board (NIB) to find out where I could get authentic versions of the syllabus.

I had received copies of the curriculum from the various WhatsApp groups I belonged to. How was I to know if these copies were authentic versions?

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Finally, I got some information through the Ghana STEM Network group I belong to on June 1, 2019, that the official versions were up on the NaCCA website.

When I went there, there were no syllabi for kindergarten (KG), Creative Arts and Physical Education.

These are now on the website as of 10p.m. on June, 14, 2019.

So I decided to contact the NaCCA to find out when these would be out.

Imagine my frustration when the contact number on the website went unanswered in my many attempts to call.

I sent an E-mail on June 4, 2019 and I am still awaiting for a response.

The ‘get in touch’ enquiry function on their website did not submit my query either.

At that point I gave up trying. At least, I had some syllabus to be getting on with.

Before the advent of the official documents, I had been working with the unofficial versions I had received through other sources, familiarising myself so that I could induct those in my charge on it.

As a teacher trainer and Education Director, I had been readying many teachers for the delivery of this well-constructed and developed syllabi.

Why spend so much time, effort and energy writing such a well-constructed syllabus, if those who will be at the end of delivery are not inducted appropriately to deliver it?

If the start is wrong, it becomes difficult to undo mistakes and correct the delivery.

I believe the Minister of Education, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, launched the training programme of the trainers of teachers in May, but I have no information as to how far the roll-out of the training has gone. And, of course, private basic schools have not been engaged in any way at all.

From information accessed online, 26 per cent of the basic primary schools in Ghana are private.

My question then is why ignore a quarter of the institutions that will be implementing this new curriculum?

What is the strategy for the roll-out and how do we ensure that the delivery of this most amazing curriculum is not severely compromised by what will seem to be an ill thought-out strategy?

The teachers in the school I work in have had an induction on the new curriculum because we, the management, are ensuring that they have some preparation towards September 2019.

We also understand the pedagogical changes required to implement this new curriculum well.

So, to summarise, an otherwise inspired new curriculum is going to be (it would seem) let down by a most poorly executed strategy for delivery. That truly disappoints and disheartens me.

The writer is an Educator/ Social commentator/ STEM advocate

Writer’s E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.