A 12-member delegation from Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Education has paid a courtesy call on the Minister of Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, to discuss ways to provide quality education in their respective countries.
The delegation, led by the Minister of Education of Sierra Leone, Dr David Moinina Sengeh, was part of a Bilateral Learning Exchange on Quality Education Programme facilitated by Right to Play, a child-centred non-governmental organisation.
The programme was aimed at promoting integrated play-based learning to improve foundational skills and learning outcomes of students at the basic level.
It was also aimed at providing training, mentorship and coaching to teachers to position them to use familiar and indigenous forms of play to teach.
At the meeting in Accra last Thursday, Dr Adutwum said his outfit was committed to transforming education, citing efforts to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education in the country.
He said work on some STEM high schools was progressing steadily, and expressed the hope that it would be completed soon to allow more students to study STEM.
“The STEM high schools are full boarding schools, with 12 science laboratories, and this is an area we can do some partnership,” he stressed.
He said construction work on a creative art high school was also ongoing, adding that it would be completed this year to allow the admission of its first batch of students next year.
Dr Adutwum stressed that Ghana’s goal was to resource schools and equip students to be at the same competitive level as students in advanced countries.
Dr Sengeh thanked Right to Play for facilitating the exchange programme, and said there was a lot to learn and ideas to exchange between the two ministries to ensure that no one was left behind.
“Sierra Leone and Ghana share very ambitious agenda; the Free Senior High School education in Ghana matches the Free Basic Education Programme in Sierra Leone.
“We have gone through the same processes, and we are transforming education in the current economic crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
He suggested that the two ministries must further collaborate “beyond these initial conversations to improve education”.
Right to Play
The Chief Programme Officer of Right to Play International, Amy Mina, said they offered technical assistance approach to 15 countries, including Mali, Senegal, Ghana and now Sierra Leone, all in West Africa.
She expressed the commitment to continue providing the necessary support to make teaching and learning at the basic level yield the needed results.
Officials from the two ministries and Right to Play later visited some basic schools that were implementing the play-based learning approach to observe the results.
The schools visited were New Gbawe Municipal Assembly Basic ‘2’ School and Mallam Municipal Assembly ‘2’ Basic School within the Weija-Gbawe Municipality in the Greater Accra Region.
The teachers in the schools noted that the initiative had improved learners’ attendance, and that it had improved their teaching skills, as well as the academic performance of the students, particularly in the areas of numeracy and literacy.