53% aged 10 without proficiency  in literacy, numeracy  – Prof. Adom-Asamoah

At least 53 per cent of children, aged 10-year-old in Ghana do not have proficiency in literacy and numeracy.

This could lead to learning poverty in the country if prop­er leadership, management and accountability are not put in place in the educational sector, says Professor Mark Adom-Asamoah, a National Policy Advisor on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) at the Ministry of Education.

He was speaking at the opening of a two-day exposure and learn­ing workshop organised by the Institute for Educational Planning and Administration (IEPA) at the University of Cape Coast (UCC) in collaboration with VVOB-Educa­tion for Development and African Centre for School Leadership (ACSL) in Accra, Wednesday.

The workshop which brought together more than 16 delegates from Kenya, Rwanda and Belgium aimed at creating a platform for ACSL operational partners to learn from each other, observe good practices in school leadership, and unlock opportunities for deeper collaboration on school leadership development.

Prof. Adom-Asamoah said re­search had shown that if at age 10, a child did not have great proficien­cy in literacy and numeracy, could not read, write, and understand the basic words that should be known at that stage, that child was likely to grow up in poverty.

He also said Sub-Saharan Africa research also showed that close to 80 per cent of all children in Sub-Saharan Africa were “learning poor,” a situation, he explained could likely lead a subcontinent to live in poverty, if necessary steps were not taken in solving it.

He emphasised that Ghana practice a 12-year basic education from primary one to third year in senior high school, however, the World Bank research showed that the average knowledge of a child who had completed senior high school was up to year six, therefore the average senior high school graduate had knowledge equivalent to that of the brightest child in primary six.

“And this is very worrying. It’s been found out that education leadership is a key to learning out­comes and therefore everything has to be done to look at that aspect. The reason being that the teachers attend the teacher training college, and they are made to go through the contents.

However, what we need in terms of leadership, management and accountability of the teacher is something that nobody considers. And this has affected the learning outcomes that we get out of train­ing the kids,” he added.

Prof. Adom-Asamoah further stated that it was in this vein that the Ministry of Education in De­cember 2021 wrote a proposal to Cabinet seeking for more expertise in terms of teaching leadership.

“We needed to ensure that apart from only teaching, our teachers and our school leaders would have training in leadership and manage­ment. Cabinet gave approval, and that approval meant that a pilot project had to be run. And that resulted in the National Education Leadership Institute (NELI).

So, the reform delivery units under the Office of the Minister of Education, in conjunction with IEPA UCC, have piloted this programme that is the NELI project. As things stand, we are waiting for the final memo to be sent to Cabinet for approval. And once the memo is approved, what that means is that NELI is going to be rolled out to each and every school,” he explained.

The Deputy Registrar at the Na­tional Teaching Council (NTC), Mr Lawrence Sarpong, underscored the need for teachers to take the teachers’ licensure examination seriously in order to enable them to meet the necessary standards for effective teaching.

The Director-General of the IEPA, Dr Micheal Boakye-Yiadom, for his part called for more collab­oration to promote and develop school leadership, saying, “it is an effective means to overcome learn­ing poverty.”


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