The Ministry of Education will pilot its new Educational Leadership Development Programme (ELDP) in January next year, following cabinet’s approval, the Minister of Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, has announced.
A successful pilot would pave way for the programme to be rolled out throughout the country with the establishment of a new National Education Institute (NEI) to provide long-term and tailor-made leadership training for heads and staff of agencies under the Ministry.
The new institute when established would among other things serve as a permanent institution dedicated to educational leadership training for the ministry and would offer long-term, tailor-made leadership programmes with certification for current and aspiring school heads, heads and staff of agencies of the ministry.
Speaking at a two-day NEI stakeholder consultation summit in Accra, over the weekend, Dr Adutwum said the country’s educational system was faced with a ‘learning challenge’ which poses risk to economic growth and citizens’ well-being.
He noted that as a result of the “learning challenge”, many young people lacked the skills required to thrive, although they represented the future of the country.
“Fifty-three per cent of 10-year olds in the country lack basic literacy skills, and although a child in Ghana can expect to go to school for 12 years, he or she only leaves with six years of learning,” he explained.
Dr Adutwum said the learning challenge could largely be attributed to poor leadership and management, inefficient supervision, lack of accountability, and inadequate teacher training.
He noted that many school leaders in the country had not undergone professional preparation for their roles as managers beyond their years of experience teaching in the classroom.
However, he said the Ministry under his leadership was keen on strengthening school leadership to drive the agenda for reform and learning as well as strengthen the education system to provide 21st century skills to learners.
“The Ministry’s Education Strategic plan 2018-2030 sets out its ambitions to improve the quality of school leadership,” he said.
He explained that the ministry intended to reform the quality of and pathways into school leadership from basing the pathways to becoming head teacher on years of service, to enabling earlier-career teachers who demonstrate quality teaching and leadership talent to become head teachers sooner.
“The intentions is for these reforms to improve the quality of school management, teaching and learning; enable other reforms to curriculum, teaching and assessment to be integrated into the school system quicker; and improve efficiency on the ELDP,” he emphasised.
On his part, Executive Director of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) Ghana, Dr Charles Yeboah, explained that the proposed NEI would help retain quality head teachers in the school system for longer period, stressing that “Trained head teachers would also be used as master trainers to support the professional development of other teachers towards school leadership.
He said the new institute would target about 70,000 school heads and would be established in collaboration with reputable education and training institutions with a good track record.
BY CLIFF EKUFUL