Mr. Lee Ocran
Mr. Lee Ocran

Accra, March 16, GNA – Mr Lee Ocran, Minister of Education on Thursday said Government would support the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) in the commencement of an open learning system at the pre-tertiary level in the country.

      He explained that Government’s assistance would be channeled through the Centre for National Distance Learning and Open Schooling (CENDLOS).
     Mr Ocran, who was speaking at the launch of Ghana’s Open School in Accra,    said open learning had become a significant alternative mode of delivery at the tertiary level in the country,
        He said the Ministry would take up the challenge and opportunity to open up the same level of access at the pre-tertiary.
     Mr Ocran noted that the mandate of CENDLOS was to regulate and harmonise open and distance learning activities and lay the foundation for the creation of an open school for Ghana.
     He expressed gratitude to COL for supporting the Ministry to ensure that a sound open school system was put in place in future,
      Mr Ocran said the system would focus on identifying a specific need in the educational system by increasing access to learning and training for the youth.
      Mrs Frances Ferreira, Education Specialist, COL, said open learning would ensure that the curriculum provided to senior school learners was relevant to their needs and various constituents.
      She said Governments were investing lots of money in schools yet most school children dropped out of school and indicated that the open school system would use new approaches and technologies.
    “Globally, 39 million girls of lower secondary age are currently not enrolled in either primary and secondary, and with this increasing trend, school drop outs would increase to 72 million in 2015”,Mrs Ferreira said.
     She said the open leaning system would help Government and the Ghana Educational Service to expand the scope, scale and quality of learning by using new approaches and technology.
      Mrs Ferreira said: “It would help reduce cost of learning, enhance quality, and increase the breath and quality of teachers as well as incorporate technology into the system to add value and improve quality”.
      She said the system could diversify the curriculum of the normal school system by developing concepts that had the country embedded in it and had the interest of the people.
     “Most children are not only dropping out of school because of money, but the curriculum does not satisfy their interest,” Mrs Ferreira said.
      She urged CENDLOS to build capacity for the programme and said ‘We would not be able to build the quality of education if we do not build our capacity”.
     Mr Joshua Mallet, Director CENDLOS, said the group created under the Ministry of Education by a Cabinet memorandum to absorb the activities of the erstwhile President’s Special Initiate on Distance Learning.
     He said it was to reinforce Open and Distance Learning at the tertiary level and make it a reality at the pre –tertiary level, including the formal and informal sector, as well as to work towards regulating and harmonising Open and Distance Learning in Ghana.
     Mr Mallet said: “We package education and training for delivery through open and distance learning mode, and support, coordinate and offer advice on Distance Learning activities in partnership with the public and private sector.”
     He said learning must be accessible, flexible and affordable to all citizens at home and abroad through open and distance learning technologies.
     Mr Mallet said CENDLOS has planned to build capacity in course development, learner support service, interactive technology-enabled learning and quality control.
GNA

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