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Let’s get the 1.2 million children back into school - IEPA-DG

BY: Shirley Asiedu-Addo

The Director General of the Institute of Educational Planning and Administration (IEPA) of the University of Cape Coast, Dr Michael Boakye-Yiadom says its the responsibility of all Ghanaians to work in solidarity to get the 1.2 million out of school children back into school.

Dr Boakye-Yiadom said the number of children out of school was unacceptable and must be a blot on the conscience of the nation and every effort made to get them back.

IEPA is a semi autonomous Institute at the University of Cape Coast (UCC) that trains educational planners, leaders and administrators.

He said the nation must work to ensure their future generations were in school and educated for accelerated development.

According to the Ghana Statistical Service Population and Housing Census 2021 about 1.2 million of the nation’s children are out of school.

Dr Boakye-Yiadom was speaking at a workshop on Global Citizenship Education for stakeholders selected from four regions including the Western, Central, Eastern and Greater Accra.

The two-day workshop was organized by IEPA in collaboration with the Asia-Pacific Centre for Education and International Understanding and the National Council for Curriculum Assessment under the auspices of UNESCO.

Dr Boaky-Yiadom said these children lived in communities and behoves all to be Ghanaians to support efforts to get all children to school.
“Adults must look out for these children and adopt them for support. These children live in the communities with us,” he stated.

Readopt communal values

He said Ghanaians have put away the basic communal values and principles that firmly held society together and adopting individualism in the communities.
Values and principles

Dr Boakye-Yiadom said values and principles had degenerated especially among they youth because said adults had taught the youth different values by their actions.

He said it was such downgrade values were what the youth had seen mirrored by adults.

He said it was time to restructure our attributes, values and principles properly to be taught the youth not only in the books but also by our lifestyles.

He said education and technology must not take away our humanness but make people better global citizens adding that all must intentionally work to be communal in our thinking and actions.

“We are not machines. We must talk and relate and go back to our values of integrity and honesty and communal actions that promote development,” he stated.

Total individuals

The Director General of the National Council for Curriculum and Assesment, Prof Edward Appiah for his part said the council would continue to review curriculum to ensure the classrooms produce total individuals that would fit into the national and global development.

He said the world had become a village and it was important that our schools trained citizens fit for the globe.

In an address read on his behalf via zoom, the head of the UNESCO office in Ghana, Diallo Abdourahamane called for a revision of curricula to reflect the changing times and targeted education outcomes to transform countries and the globe for the better.

The IEPA

As a UNESCO Category II Centre of Excellence for West Africa, the IEPA is mandated to achieve four key strategic thrusts including building and strengthening capacity of educational planners, administrators, and leaders in the West African Sub-region.

It is also mandated to support education ministries within the West African sub-region to undertake sector-wide planning, policy development and implementation and to undertake cutting-edge research, consultancy and   promoting innovation in education service delivery towards the attainment of the Education 2030 Agenda.

The IEPA is also charged to create a platform for discussion of topical issues in education and provide policy advice to Ministries of Education of Member States.
 
To achieve its mandate as a UNESCO Category II Centre, the IEPA has over the past two years been working towards set strategic goals.

The IEPA has organised numerous capacity building workshops for all its staff to expose them to 21st Century Skills and other competencies and also collaborated with key partners such as the Asia-Pacific Centre of Education for International Understanding (APCEIU) to organise a number of capacity building workshops on Global Citizenship Education (GCED) in Ghana and to explore how best GCED could be effectively implemented in Ghana’s educational curricula.