‘Turmoil in education sector uncalled for’ – Naana Opoku Agyemang
Former Education Minister, Professor Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang says the current turmoil on the country’s educational front could have been handled properly.
“If there’s turmoil in [the] education [sector] today, it is totally uncalled for,” she said on Thursday when she spoke at a public lecture organised by the opposition National Democratic Congress.
Some teacher unions are unhappy with the government’s handling of some issues in the education sector with regards to the implementation of the Ghana Partnership Schools (GPS) Project.
They claimed that the government has consistently sidelined them in educational policy deliberations.
Already there is an impasse at University of Education Winneba (UEW) which led to the shutting down of the institution.
A similar violent demonstration was recorded at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Technology in 2018.
Professor Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang at the lecture used the opportunity to tout the NDC’s handling of the education sector during her tenure.
According to her, the education sector under former President John Dramani Mahama recorded a superior performance compared with the current New Patriotic Party administration.
She said her administration worked in the interest of Ghanaians.
The Former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast explained that all of such initiatives introduced by the NDC were based on intensive research.
She cited the conversion of polytechnics to technical universities and the construction of the community day ‘E-Blocks’ senior high schools as examples.
“We looked at technical training, we picked 13 technical schools for upgrading and expansion…. it was based on research,”
“These E-blocks were designed with not only with the technocrats, we also asked the learners themselves, what schools they wanted to attend. Those who were attending day schools, what did they want to see? Those who attended days schools and had graduated, what did they want to see? We also did a survey of existing day schools in the country,” he explained.
On educational infrastructure, she also touted the erstwhile NDC government’s efforts in building two public universities; the University of Health and Allied Sciences, in Ho and the University of Energy and Natural Resources, Sunyani.
“Two new universities were constructed at Ho and at Sunyani. For the sunyani one, because it was about energy and we were struggling with energy we were particularly interested in what we were doing. We were interested in ensuring that they got proper research funds.”
She also took a swipe at the Finance Ministry saying although her administration made some record-breaking initiatives, they did not organise “a party to celebrate it.”