Stakeholders review Strategic Plan for education

Prof Naana Opoku-AgyemangA 15-year strategic plan to increase access to quality education and infrastructure has been drafted by the Ministry of Education.

Dubbed the “Education Strategic Plan (ESP) 2016-2030,” the 240-page document primarily focused on addressing educational issues through strategic policies for enhancing the participation and contribution of the citizens in national development.

It forms part of a series of plans developed by the government on other strategic goals captured under the Free Compulsory Basic Education (FCUBE) and Millennium Development Goals that have been aligned to the Sustainable Development Goal four(SDG4)  and the National Development Plan for 2016-2057.

To ensure an effective implementation of the plan was among policies discussed at the 12th National Education Sector Annual Review (NESAR) in Accra on Tuesday.

The two-day event held on the theme “sustaining the gains in equitable access and quality education and enhancing learning outcomes for all”, brought together stakeholders in the education sector to review policies and make inputs into the strategic plan.

Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, Minister of Education, opening the meeting, emphasized the need for stakeholders in education to adopt the government’s strategic plan designed to enhance quality education in the country.

She said over the past decade, government had invested significantly in infrastructure with the aim of improving access to quality education across the country for all citizens irrespective of their background.

She explained that the education system currently has approximately 7.7 million pupils in the basic schools and about 805,000 senior high schools students with 53,000 in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET).

According to her, the national population growth rate is currently at 2.1 per cent, adding that a possible increase in school population over the next 15 years to 2030 would be approximately 3.3 million additional students spread across kindergarten to tertiary education.

Prof. Opoku-Agyemang indicated that the strategic plan had been developed from a detailed analysis of available documents and statistics stressing that stakeholders’ inputs were critical in fine-tuning the plan to ensure that it had national support and ownership.

“The ultimate goal of the plan is to ensure that education plays critical and positive role in national development agenda and in helping to integrate international development goals. It represents a major milestone in government’s policy to make the education sector more efficient and relevant for the development of human capital in the country,” she said.

She said the plan was guided by the government’s desire to create an inclusive education system through improved access and equity as well as the provision of quality and relevant educational opportunities.

According to her, the ESP had taken into consideration the current decentralisation policy of government, explaining that the ministry was hopeful that the plan would be taken forward in the provision of educational services across the 10 regions.

“Our commitment is to ensure that all children fulfil their God-given potential as active members of their communities, and productive participants in the economy, who are able to engage with the rest of the world,” she said.

Prof. Opoku-Agyemang, however, expressed concern about the rampant and haphazard establishment of private schools without recourse to proper infrastructure, quality tuition and training of teachers as well as access to right curriculum activities.

She therefore urged stakeholders to critically look at the situation and devise ways of restructuring the education system to promote quality and increase access.

By Charles Amankwa

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