Prof. Jane Opoku-Agyemang, Education Minister
Prof. Jane Opoku-Agyemang, Education Minister

Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang

Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang

The country?s educational sector has chalked some significant successes in the past couple of years, the Minister of Education, Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyeman has stated.

The Minister highlighted some of these strides when she made a comprehensive presentation of the staff of affairs in the education sector during her turn at the ?Meet the Press? series.

The successes includes improved enrollment for students in both basic level and tertiary institutions, improved teacher incentives, improved resources channeled to the sector and important policies undertaken by the John Dramani Mahama-led administration.

For instance, in order to attain Universal Basic Education, the government pursued a Complementary Basic Education (CBE) in 2014 to prepare out-of-school children for mainstreaming into the formal system.

Of these, a total of 24,117 out-of-school children were enrolled in the Northern, Upper East, Upper West and Brong Ahafo regions. These pupils have since been mainstreamed into the formal school system.

? In the 2014 / 2015 academic year 45,000 learners were enrolled with classes on-going under this program, the following provisions have been made to aid effective and efficient teaching:  Provision of 129 motor bikes and 11 cross country pickups for monitoring and supervision at the district and community level,? Prof. Opoku-Agyeman stated.

Additionally to this, the government has provided and distribution of 1,437,500 readers in 11 local languages for learners and have distributed 6,900 facilitators teaching manuals in 11 languages to improve the teaching capabilities of teachers

On the Second Cycle Education level, the government has vowed to  to increase equitable access to quality secondary education, this policy has seen massive construction works of new secondary school building across the country.

? The general improvement in the secondary education landscape including infrastructure has led to improvement in enrolment rate by 7.2% in 2014/15 academic year.  The percentage of students with passes from A1 to C6 improved from 19.55% in 2012/13 to 28.1% in 2013/2014. The Gender Parity Index also improved from 0.86 to 0.91,? The Education Minister stated.

On the tertiary education level, more than 129 projects are currently ongoing at the Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education and at various stages of completion across the country.

This is expected to significantly improve enrollment and quality of education at the tertiary level.

A key policy being pursued by the John Mahama administration is the conversion of Polytechnics to Technical Universities.

? The draft Technical Universities Bill has been submitted to the Attorney General?s Department for further action?the Ministry will facilitate the passage of the Bill for the conversion of Polytechnics into Technical Universities. The National Council for Tertiary Education is engaging the Polytechnics to ascertain their readiness for the conversion,? the minister stated.

The government has realized the significance of technical education and has placed some priority on Polytechnic education.

? To improve linkage between Polytechnics and Industry, 52,167 students out of a target of 72,400 were placed on industrial attachment to equip them with first-hand experience in industry. In 2015, 75,000 students will benefit from industrial attachment.  The Ministry will also initiate work mobility for industrial practitioners to engage learners for agreed periods in Tertiary Institutions to help align training and industrial needs,? said the Minister.

According to official statistics, Ghana is currently equipped with 20,960 Kindergartens, 21,309 Primary Schools and 13,840 Junior High Schools (JHS); 840 Senior High Schools and 186 Technical Vocational Education and Training Institutes; 44 Colleges of Education; 10 Polytechnics and 81 Universities, both publicly and privately funded and operated. The total student enrolment for the Pre-Tertiary education level is 8,578,047 while that of the Tertiary level is 313,845 according to the 2014 EMIS data. The Ministry and its Agencies together have a total workforce of about 342,000.

Source: The Republic

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