Prof. Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa, Director General, Ghana Education Service, displaying a copy of the training guide to be used in the next academic year. Picture: NII MARTEY M. BOTCHWAY
Prof. Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa, Director General, Ghana Education Service, displaying a copy of the training guide to be used in the next academic year. Picture: NII MARTEY M. BOTCHWAY

Primary schools get new curriculum, KG subjects reduced from 7 to 4

The Ghana Education Service (GES) has introduced a new curriculum to replace the current one from Kindergarten to Primary Six.

The curriculum forms part of sweeping reforms in basic education, beginning from the 2019/2020 academic year.

Under the new curriculum, the subjects to be taught at the KG level have been reduced from seven to four, which are integrated into themes.
The themes for KG are Numeracy, Literacy, Creative Arts and Our World, Our People (citizenship).    
There is, however, no change in the number of subjects at the primary level.

Standard-based curriculum

Announcing the reforms at a press briefing in Accra yesterday, the Director-General of the GES, Professor Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa, said there would be more emphasis on literacy and numeracy.

“We have also introduced what we call standards-based curriculum.

This means that at every stage in school, a pupil is expected to demonstrate understanding and mastery of the knowledge and skills that they are expected to learn as they progress through their education,” he stated.

 Supported by his two deputies and Mr Michael Nsowah, the Chairman of the GES Council, Prof. Opoku-Amankwa said under the reforms, “emphasis is placed on instruction and various forms of assessment”.

He announced that there would be national assessments for pupils in Primary Two, Four and Six to track their progress to enable the service to put in  measures to correct the challenges that they had.

“Currently, what is happening is that when the child enters school, you do not get to do any national assessment of the child from KG up to JHS Three.

“The only assessment we get to do nationally to find out whether the child is doing well or not is at the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE),” he told the journalists.

Stand-alone subjects

He said in the new curriculum, History of Ghana as a subject would be compulsory for each child from Primary One to Six, while Religious and Moral Education (RME) and Physical Education (PE) would each be a stand-alone (separate) subject.

“PE will, however, be a stand-alone subject and will be taught practically. French will be introduced at the Upper Primary,” he added.

Stakeholder consultations

Prof. Opoku-Amankwa said before arriving at the stage of the implementation, the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA) had engaged all relevant stakeholders in education to get their buy-in for the final product.

He said such consultations started  in 2017, covering the various agencies under the Ministry of Education, directors of Education, the Parliamentary Select Committee on Education, heads of schools, faith-based organisations and institutions, teacher unions, civil society organisations, teachers and parents.

 Other stakeholders consulted included the development partners, such as the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) user agencies, the British Department for International Development (DFID), the World Bank, UNICEF, the United Kingdom government, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), among others.

Nationwide implementation

Prof. Opoku-Amankwa said the NaCCA and the GES had worked closely to ensure a smooth nationwide roll-out of the new curriculum at the beginning of the 2019/2020 academic year.

“To begin with, a core of 150 master trainers have been recruited and trained by the NaCCA and the aim is for them to also train 3,900 regional trainers and these trainers will also be expected to administer curriculum training to clusters of KG and Class Six teachers across the country.

“These will be followed by a community engagement, supply of curriculum documents to schools, supply of books and relevant teaching and learning materials, monitoring and evaluation,” Prof; Opoku-Amankwa explained.

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