Views: 335 Gertrude Bazaanaa, Accra, Aug 32, 2019, 7:00am Coalition on Youth Development in Ghana has organised a national youth dialogue on transform...
Gertrude Bazaanaa, Accra, Aug 32, 2019, 7:00am
Coalition on Youth Development in Ghana has organised a national youth dialogue on transformational education in Accra on last week, (27/8/19)
The event was under the theme: “Achieving Transformative Education: Youth Voices, Perspectives and Aspirations.”
The dialogue focused was on ways to advance the course of the youth in education and to position them for great things in future.
According to Minister of Education in his keynote address on the occasion, “we have an adolescent population that is fast growing. Adolescent aged 10-14 years constitute12% and 15-19 years are 11% of our population. Our youth aged 15-30 years constitute about a third of the country’s population. If you add those aged 10-14 years, then we have almost half of the population at the peak of fertility. It is obvious that we must take these demographic statistics very seriously in planning for our nation if we are to leave a sustainable legacy for our young people to take over the reins of this country and place it on a path to prosperity for future generations.”
He said the government was currently pursuing several reforms of the education sector, and the ultimate aim was to change the face of education in the country and ensure that it was a mechanism that delivers a skilled, competent, confident and competitive citizenry primed to put the country on the path to progress.
The Free Senior High School Policy
In September 2017, at the start of the 2017/18 academic year, the government rolled out the Free Senior High School (FSHS) Policy, starting with the first year students. By September 2019, all three streams of students in Ghana’s public senior high schools would be covered by the policy, which aims to remove cost barriers to public senior high schools in Ghana.
“The government’s position is that completion of senior high school should be the earliest stage at which a child can get off the education ladder and go into work, and that literate, confident and competitive citizenry is key to the nation’s development.”
TVET (technical and vocational education and training)
He said the government had a strategy to expand technical and vocational opportunities at both secondary and tertiary levels and thereby strengthen the linkages between education and industry, as well as give opportunities to the young ones, to deploy their skills, and to employ themselves and others.
And Ghana was positioning herself to mainstream technical and vocational education in various ways; by first launching a major campaign aimed at redeeming the misconception that technical and vocational education is inferior, and patronized only by less endowed students.
The ministry had also been investing in infrastructure and equipment for technical institutions; Technical universities and colleges of education that specialize in TVET, in collaboration with the international organisation, Amatrol.
Besides, 20 state-of-the-art TVET centres were been constructed across the country to bring learners up to speed with modern trends in various TVET areas and to make them more competent in their areas of study.
He said currently the country had over 400 non-tertiary TVET institutions managed by administrative agencies and offices set up under 18 ministries which were offering various TVET programs.
Also, it was estimated that across public and private TVET providers, over 200 programs were been delivered to over 500 000 TVET learners.
The government’s one district one factory project was another flagship policy during the 2016 election, meant to launch Ghana as a major hub for Industrialisation; but the government believed this game changer remained meaningless if it was not supported by institutions that were primed to instill relevant human resources skills that would sustain and grow the industries.
Basic education curriculum
The Minister added that Pre-tertiary education in Ghana was bedeviled by a number of challenges, and those included the absence of a curriculum framework to guide the design the development of new course and the review and also the revision of the existing subject syllabuses/curricula.
And also there were no performance standards to guide teaching, learning, assessment and grading of students.
“Meanwhile, a significant number of graduates from the basic and senior high schools is functional illiterate, ill-prepared for further education, training and job placement. There are also concerns that Ghanaian children now place little value on the country’s history.”
The Minister noted that current landscape in terms of learning outcomes was not encouraging. For instance, “in the 2018 national education assessment (NEA), only 16 t- 25 percent of pupil met the benchmarks for literacy and mathematics. Also, according to the WAEC’s 2018 Report, an average of 40 of leaners fails to achieve the necessary pass marks in WAEC core subjects. And according to the TRENDS in International Mathematics and science study (TIMSS) 2011 Report, Ghanaian learners had limited subject knowledge, application and reasoning skills.”
He said a revision of the existing curriculum was necessary to provide a clear policy framework for reviewing the curriculum of pre-tertiary education in the country, and to reintroduce the teaching of history as standalone subject at the pre tertiary level.
He said a revision of the junior high school curriculum was currently under way and it was expected that the new curriculum would be rolled out in the 2020/ 21 academic year period, and that the senior high school curriculum would also be reviewed.
He stated that under the new curriculum to be rolled out in September 2019, the following important feature must be noted:
At KG, the number of subjects is to be reduced from seven to four. However this will be treated with depth.
At lower and upper primary the numbers of subject remain the same. However, there will be more depth with each subject with greater emphasis on literacy and numeracy.
Introduction of standards-based curriculum; this means that at every stage in school, a student is expected to demonstrate an understanding and mastery of knowledge and skills that are expected to learn as they progress through their education. Emphasis is placed on instruction and various forms of assessment.
There will be national assessment at primary 2, primary 4, and primary 6 to ensure that children’s performance is tracked.