Work on 17 E-Block schools completed

BY: Severious Kale-Dery
Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum
Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum

Work on 17 community day senior high schools (SHSs) in the country, known as E-Blocks, have been completed and operationalised, the Ministry of Education has stated.

It formed part of 23 E-Block schools selected for completion by the government.

 The remaining six are at various levels of completion.

Also, contracts for the upgrade of facilities in 50 existing SHSs have been awarded.

Under a World Bank-sponsored Secondary Education Improvement Project (SEIP),125 SHSs have been earmarked for improvement.

As part of the $156-million SEIP,10,025 students from low-income families, particularly girls in the beneficiary schools, have also been awarded scholarships.

The Deputy Minister of Education in charge of General Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, who disclosed this in an interview with the Daily Graphic in Accra, said the SEIP, which was initiated in 2015, had helped to expand access to education and improved quality of teaching and learning in SHSs, particularly those in under-served communities.

Mapping of SHSs

Dr Adutwum also said both public and private SHSs had been mapped, adding that an online portal,  www.ghanaschoolsinfo.org, had been created to make information on the schools available to all.
“The information has been replicated in school mapping digests which have been printed and distributed to public junior high schools (JHSs) to help pupils make informed choices about their preferred SHSs.

“School performance partnership plans have also been prepared by schools and funds transferred to them to enable them to execute projects that will help students improve on their performance in the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE),” he added.

Other interventions

According to the minister, information and communications technology (ICT)-based instructions had also been rolled out in the 125 SHSs where I-boxes (an offline portal loaded with educational content for students) had been installed to deliver prepared video lessons, exercises and content assessment to students and teachers.

He further announced that solar panels had been installed in all the SEIP beneficiary schools to provide constant electricity, while 1,700 Science and Mathematics teachers had been trained to improve student performance in those subjects.

Heads of schools had also received training in modern techniques of school administration, he added.

Additional funding

He explained that it was based on the impressive execution of the project that the World Bank made an additional funding of $40 million available to expand school infrastructure to create access and also promote effective teaching and learning in SHSs.

Dr Adutwum said an additional 106 schools had been included in the SEIP and that 10,000 students in those schools would also be granted bursaries.

Others, he said, were the training of more Science and Mathematics teachers and the introduction of a World Bank regional initiative on Maths and Science for Schools in sub-Saharan Africa (MS4SSA).