Education sector reviews performance

BY: Samuel K. Obour

Prof Jane Naana Opoku-AgyemangThe Ministry of Education, its agencies and development partners have begun a three-day national review in Accra, to discuss the performance of the education sector.

The meeting is on the theme, “Improving teaching and learning through strengthening accountability at all levels” It is also being attended by non-governmental organisations and other stakeholders in the sector.

Giving the keynote address, the Minister of Education, Professor Naana Jane Opoku Agyemang, stated that there had been a steady improvement in the education sector, indicating that these were noted in the education indicators such as enrolment rates, girls participation and increase in access for children with special education needs.

“This gives proof that the on-going policy interventions such as the Capitation Grant, provision of free exercise books and uniforms, school feeding programme and targeted support to deprived districts and girls are yielding results” she said.

Outlining some challenges in the sector, she said there was a high level of untrained teachers at the kindergarten level and pointed out that “there is the need to raise the number of trained teachers at the KG level”.

Though there had been improvement in enrolment in education at the various levels, she said there was still difficulty in accessing schools.

To improve on access to senior high education, she stated that the ministry had budgeted

GH¢70 million under the GETFund to kick start 50 community senior high schools.

She indicated that three bodies, the National Council for Assessment, the National Teaching Council and the National Inspectorate Board, had been mandated to review and update curriculum, register and license teachers and intensify inspection in schools.

In addition, the Ghana Education Service (GES) has implemented the Global Partnership for Education Grant project of $ 75.5 million which is intended to address inequalities in education by improving learning outcomes and enhancing management and supervision in schools.

She stressed the need to intensify school inspection, monitoring and supervision, not only by officials but by parents and the society as well.

She said the ministry had initiated a forum with unions in the education sector to dialogue on pertinent issues to reduce the spate of agitations from the labour unions in the sector.

She urged teachers to improve on their attendance, ensure quality instruction and make Mathematics and English interesting to improve on the fallen standards in those areas.

On behalf of the development partners, Marisol Perez from USAID, called for improved governance and accountability and suggested greater collaboration and coordination within the sector.

With two years to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, she said the annual rate of progress in the education sector would have to be more than doubled to achieve the MDG two and three, which relate to attaining universal primary education and eliminate gender inequality.

By Salomey Appiah