Continue addressing education-sector challenges

Since President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo assumed the country’s Presidency in 2017, he and his administration have caused a lot to happen in the education sector.

The whole world can testify to the Free Senior High School policy that has enabled children who otherwise would not have had secondary education to attain it without sweat.

Amid that policy, Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) has been given big boost, causing enrolments in TVET schools in the country to soar beyond imagination.

For instance, this year, a total of 44,000 students have enrolled in TVET schools compared to the highest numbers of 24,000 and 18,000 in previous years.

According to the country’s education authorities, the improvement in TVET is the result of the government’s efforts to address its challenges, including particularly the crisis over its image as the refuge for students who are not academically endowed.

Today, the obsolete machinery, a fragmented TVET landscape, an outdated curriculum, the lack of standardisation, duplication of roles amongst related agencies and poor investment are close to being consigned to history.

The signs are now clear that people understand the importance of TVET in national development.

TVET products acquire skills that make most of them able to work on their own, meaning that they ease the pressure on the government to provide employment for the people.

In fact, it is TVET products that make it possible for people to acquire products such as houses, vehicles, television, musical instruments, sound systems, telephones and dresses that make life comfortable for them.

President Akufo-Addo’s administration has also made some changes in pre-university curriculum, resulting in the development and implementation of the Standard Based Curriculum at the junior high school (JHS) level.

Such a curriculum is one that concentrates, among other goals, on the development of ideas in depth, engagement of students rather than teachers pouring out stuff and highlighting motivation for learning so students would nurture the desire to acquire more knowledge on their own.

Generally, the government can be said to have undertaken reforms to improve knowledge and skills delivery and acquisition.

This is very important, considering the fact that education, inclusive education for that matter, is the key to every nation’s development.

It must be noted, however, that in spite of the efforts being made, there are still challenges to address.

It is heart-warming to learn that the efforts being made to improve TVET, for example, have not been relaxed.

It is the hope of the Ghanaian Times that the €10 million support in funding being given the Ghana TVET Voucher Project (GTVP) under the Ghanaian-German financial cooperation and co-financed by BMZ would judiciously be applied  and saved any instance of corruption.

Also, TVET products must no longer encounter difficulties with the desire to acquire tertiary education. That way, the low image associated with TVET would forever be erased.

Another challenge in the education sector is remuneration and currently the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) is asking for the release of a Cost of Living Allowance in view of the rising cost of living in the country.

The teachers have every right to ask for pay increase but as they do so, they must look at the challenges in the education sector and honestly isolate those that emanate from or relate to them.

Basic school teachers, for instance, should be concerned that most pupils in public schools cannot read.

GNAT must lead that enterprise the same way it champions the cause of teachers to ensure quality education.

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