In January 2017 when the newly sworn-in President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, named his first set of ministers, there were surprise elements in the list but there was one particular person that many wondered why he was placed at a particular ministry.
Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh was that person who many, hitherto his ministerial appointment, wondered why an accomplished Medical Doctor many tipped right for the Ministry of Health was rather put in charge of Ministry of Education.
Under Dr. Prempeh, as the Minister of Education, Colleges of Education now run 4-Year Bachelor of Education programs. Teacher trainees will now graduate with Bachelor’s degrees, and will not need to take study leave to go back to acquire the degree.
The national audit of skills has been completed by the Council for Technical and Vocational Education Training (COTVET).
E-Learning portal developed (www.icampusgh.com) and includes all SHS 1-3 core subjects. The website is live.
Teacher recruitment since 2017 is now done at regional levels: Documentation is done at District and Regional levels.
Restore Teacher Allowances:
Restored allowances were also paid to Arabic/Islamic instructors under the national volunteer service program.
Restore book and research allowances for lecturers were catered for. They have not only been restored, but they have also been increased by 200%.
The regime also introduced the History of Ghana as a subject for primary schools in the Curriculum which has been approved by the Cabinet. Over 180 Master Trainers, 3,900 District level Trainers, and 152,000 teachers have been trained for this purpose.
In other achievements it Integrates school sports as part of school activities: Free PE kits are being provided to students under the Free SHS program.
It also abolished the payment of utility bills by students, and the Tertiary Education Policy also abolished the payment of utility bills in tertiary Institutions.
The era also redefined basic education from Kindergarten to include SHS, covering vocational, agricultural, and technical schools.
The current enrolment stands at 1,199,750 students from 2017 to 2019. This is not limited to arts, business, and science subjects: it also covers Technical, Vocational, and Education Training (TVET), in essence, the initiative is “Free SHS and TVET ” 52.1% of all these students are male and 47.9% female.
The government also absorbed BECE examination fees in 2018: WASSCE examination fees absorbed in 2020.
The student loan amount has been increased by 50% and ranges between GHc1, 500, and GHc3, 000.
Funding was secured for two foundries, and sod has been cut for the commencement of a machine tool centre to be constructed in Kumasi.
The National Inspectorate Board has been operationalised, staffed, and provided with infrastructural and technical supports to enable it carry out its mandate. With these resources, the National Inspectorate Board has been able to digitise its data collection system, built a secure and comprehensive database for schools’ inspection and trained a team of inspectors.
Manuals were prepared for basic schools and 80% of SHSs have coordinators. Same is planned for all school.
Faith-Based Organisations (FBOs) were also engaged and MoU drafted and was under review.
Construction of 163 Kindergartens awarded out of which 77 have been completed to date.
Previously, teachers who upgraded their qualifications and skills were not recognised and promoted on time; a divorce from hitherto several years of bureaucratic delays.
Due to new reforms, now:
• The waiting period before promotion of teachers who upgrade their qualifications and skills is now halved to 2 years. Waiting period for all others is 4 Years.
• For the first time in history, teachers are being paid a professional teachers allowance.
- TVET Qualification Framework developed.
- 80 institutions accredited to run Competency Based Training (CBT) programmes.
- Engaging Technical Universities to run CBTs.
- To support TVET education, we are building 32 state-of-the-art TVET centres, and
- A Basic STEM (B-STEM) programme to provide science labs in all basic schools to enhance the teaching of STEM subjects from an early age has been rolled out.
ICT is now compulsory in all Teacher Training Colleges.
- To date 313,250 basic school students have been introduced to basic coding
- Coding introduced at 25 SHSs and equipment supplies in progress
- A US$1.5B loan, of which US$500M has been disbursed, has been secured on the back of GETFund to develop educational infrastructure. Massive infrastructure development across educational institutions currently ongoing
- Completion ofthe construction and commissioning of Phase I of the Somanya campus of the University of Environment and Sustainable Development (UESD). Funding for Phase II of the campus has been secure and work commenced.
An agreement has been reached between UNOPS and the Government to construct 100,000 housing units for teachers and other education professionals.
Technology has been incorporated in the curriculum and technology firms have been engaged to assist in delivery. iBox education portal installed in 125 Senior High Schools.
Contract awarded to provide free Wi-Fi connectivity to all 722 SHSs, 46 Colleges of Education (CoEs), 16 Regional Offices, and 260 District Education Offices.
Research & Innovation Fund Bill has been gazetted.
Inclusive Education Policy adopted, and teacher training curricula covers inclusive education.
22 Bilingual Schools established, 6 Colleges of Education equipped with French Labs & Resource Centres, 54 SHSs equipped with French Language Resource Centres, and primary 4-6 French language curriculums developed.
Curriculum approved and rolled out. Discussions are ongoing for distribution of tablets to JHS and SHS students.
Under an ongoing programme, expanded the network of libraries from 61 to 72 as at March 2020, and have renovated over 50% of the existing libraries. A digital platform for accessing library content has been activated.
The three-month pay policy for newly-recruited teachers has been abolished, and under Dr. Prempeh all legacy arrears were cleared.
The period of staying on a grade before consideration for promotion for teachers who upgrade their qualifications and skills is now halved to two years.
Construction of 20 Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) centers across the country are ongoing.
Capitation grant was by 122% from GH¢4.5 per pupil to GH¢10 per pupil for Primary Schools.
Government has procured 1,190 vehicles to Senior High Schools made up of 350 buses and 840 pickups.
Under this project:
- 2.3 million children in 260 Districts will benefit
- 70,000+ out of school children targeted to be brought back on track
- 76,000 teachers’ capacity training in new curriculum and teaching methods
- School management committees to be trained in effective school management
- School heads trained in instructional leadership and accountability
- Circuit Supervisors will become School Improvement Officers, and
- 10,000 schools have been selected for the first phase
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