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Politics Fri, 14 Oct 2016

NPP spells out education policy

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has tagged Education as critical in the building of a cohesive and prosperous Ghana, whose children, and young people, are equipped with the requisite knowledge, skills, and aptitudes to compete with the best in the world.

“We aim to shift the structure and content of our education system from merely passing examinations to building character, nurturing values, and raising literate, confident, and engaged citizens who can think critically,” it states its Election 2016 Manifesto which was made available to the Ghana News Agency (GNA).

“The NPP believes that all the hopes of Ghanaians for a bright future will come to naught, unless the country is able to resolve its education crisis.”

The GNA is analysing the Manifesto as part of its project, “GNA Tracks Election 2016”. The project seeks to sensitise the electorate on the various issues raised by political parties, elections management body and other governance institutions.

The GNA 2016 project also seeks to ensure gender and social inclusion in national politics and to provide voice for the youth, vulnerable groups, opinion leaders and the society as a whole, as well as contribute its quota to the achievement of a peaceful poll in December.

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Another objective of the GNA project is to create a platform to dissect the manifestos of all political parties and provide in-depth analysis of each of the thematic areas of the manifestoes to the electorate, to enable them to make informed judgement.

The NPP has declared Education to be a major priority and commits itself to a bold, creative, visionary and all-embracing programme for the transformation of education in Ghana.

The NPP says if elected to form the next Government from 2017 to 2021, it would implement a policy of free education for all Ghanaian children up to Senior High School, and raise the quality of education at the primary and senior high school levels.

The next NPP Government would work with the Universities to raise their standards to the ranks of the best among their peers in Africa and beyond, to ensure that their products are equipped with all the skills needed to build the national economy, it states.

According to the Party’s manifesto, “The Universities will also be motivated to take on the challenge and the opportunities for higher achievement in the Science and Technology-led knowledge-driven global economy through innovation and creativity and place Research; and Innovation at the heart of education in Ghana.

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“The Universities shall be expected to accord priority to research, especially in the bio-medical, computer, agricultural and environmental sciences.

“We shall foster close integration between the Universities and the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences (GAAS), and other Research institutions, establish a Manufacturing Plant at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology for the production of prototypes of the inventions and creations of scientists and innovators in the country”.

The NPP says its Manifesto signals a sea change in the mindset of the nation, and especially of the Government, in its attitude towards the Teaching Profession.

“We shall restore to our Teachers the honour and respect they once held as the source of enlightenment at all levels of society and ensure that Teaching becomes once again, a Profession of Choice for our ambitious youth.

“We shall restore physical education and sports as an integral part of a programme of wholesome education for a wholesome nation. A healthy mind in a healthy body has always been the fundamental ethos of education.

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“NPP will reintegrate physical education and recreation into mainstream education and ensure the restoration of a rational programme of sports organisation and competition from the primary to the University level.”

The NPP again says it would embark on a vigorous programme to ensure that kindergarten schools are available for all four-year old children in the country. "The training of early childhood and kindergarten teachers would be prioritised to reflect the importance we attach to the provision of equal opportunities for children from all backgrounds.”

The largest opposition party says it will reintroduce the History of Ghana as a subject for primary schools.

“The children of the country need to know where we have come from to give them a sound grounding and instill confidence in them.

“The NPP will redefine basic education to include Senior High School (SHS), covering vocational, agricultural and technical schools, and make it available for free on a universal basis to all Ghanaians."

“We shall ensure that each Region has two state-of-the-art technical and vocational institutions to demonstrate our commitment to the sector. We shall upgrade and revamp existing technical and vocational institutions to ensure that training for world-class employable skills is conducted in world-class surroundings."

“Within the first year, the NPP says it will undertake a national audit of skills and competencies in a bid to align training opportunities and resources to respond to national and local human resource demands.

To ensure that standards are improved and maintained across pre-tertiary education, the NPP Government will strengthen and equip the Inspectorate Board, as an independent body, to enable it carry out its inspection mandate, the Manifesto promises.

Source: GNA
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