The Ministry of Education says it is on course with the government’s plan to transform Ghana into a ‘learning nation.’
This ambition is anchored by the Education Strategic Plan (ESP) 2018-2030, mainly in response to the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Four and it revolves around improving the quality of ‘education for all’.
The Deputy Minister of Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, announced this at the 2019 Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES), held in San Francisco, USA recently.
Speaking on the topic, “Aligning the Government of Ghana priorities and strategies in Education; opportunities for sustainability”, the deputy minister stated that the ESP 2018-2030 had three key objectives.
He mentioned them as improved equitable access to and participation in inclusive education at all levels; improved quality of teaching and learning and the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) at all levels; and sustainable and efficient management, financing and accountability of education service delivery.
The deputy minister spoke on the curriculum reforms, free senior high school, teacher reforms, among others as propelling the vision.
Dr Adutwum noted that the four major components of the USAID Partnership for Education: Learning Project aligned with that of the Ministry of Education’s priority of ensuring that all KG and Primary schoolchildren developed early grade reading and maths foundational skills.
He noted that currently, the learning project had developed, printed and distributed over 32,000 books including pupils’ books, teachers’ guide, and alphabet strips to beneficiary schools under the Teaching and Learning Material module.
Additionally, he said it was being implemented in over 7,200 primary schools in 100 districts across the country, applied in 11 GES-approved Ghanaian Languages, involving over 38,000 teachers, head teachers and curriculum leads in over 700,000 pupils.
Effective teaching strategies
On Effective Teaching Strategies, Dr Adutwum indicated that the learning project trained the teachers in the use of a systematic phonic-based teaching methodology (scripted lesson) which had been proven very useful in improving pupils’ reading performance.
He said the project had also developed the electronic-based monitoring system – the Fidelity of Implementation (FOI) Monitoring System, which was being used by major stakeholders in monitoring the progress of implementation, identifying challenges and taking constructive decisions to improve implementation and accountability.
The Learning Project, Dr Adutwum added, had made great impact on key areas for the improvement of education delivery namely, material development, teacher training, ongoing pedagogical support and school visits; and monitoring for fidelity and learning outcomes.
He, however, identified some gaps that needed to be filled in the current implementation and on the way forward as helping the Ghanaian child to transition from their local language to English Language, strengthening school leadership to support improved learning outcomes and parental engagement and support for reading by early graders.
Opportunity to share
Dr Adutwum applauded the organisers of the conference for the opportunity for countries such as Ghana to share some of the innovations in improving pupils learning outcomes, especially in pupils reading performance.
He was of the firm belief that the presentations from Ghana would open up more opportunities, such as the Ghana Accountability and Learning Outcomes Project (GALOP) to foster stronger collaboration to improve its education system.
He commended the USAID Learning Project as making a meaningful impact on the learning outcomes in Ghana.