The government has reaffirmed its commitment to ensuring educational gender parity through a demonstrated Education Strategic Plan 2018-2030 initiative with priority areas on gender equality.
Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh, the Minister of Education, at the Teacher Education Gender and Inclusion Summit in Accra, said the Strategic Plan served as government’s intervention pathway towards ensuring that disadvantaged groups in society were adequately supported to equally benefit from the educational system.
He said government was, therefore, committed to improving learning outcomes and learning progressions, adding, “We will introduce a new assessment policy and introduce standards tests as part of the effort to promote the acquisition of skills and competences throughout the school system.”
“These will require a comprehensive review and reform of the examination systems in Ghana.”
The summit, being attended by key players in the teacher education field, would deliberate on how best to increase gender equality and social inclusion in the education system, particularly in colleges of education.
It was organised by the Transforming Teacher Education and Learning Programme (T-TEL), in collaboration with the National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE), with support from UKAID.
The summit is on the theme: ‘Towards an impactful gender responsive and socially inclusive teacher education system – Strategising together, ensuring relevance in teacher education.’
Dr Opoku Prempeh said the government would introduce the gender disparities in learning outcomes through specific gender sensitive strategies and pedagogies in schools’ curricula.
He said the plan would help improve equality through improving access and completion for girls to higher levels of education, whilst operationalising new guidelines on addressing pregnancy among adolescent school girls with a primary focus on prevention, socio-emotional and learning support.
The education ministry would also facilitate re-entry of young mothers to complete secondary education and that, “We remain committed to addressing socio-cultural barriers like child marriage and teenage pregnancy, which make adolescent girls vulnerable to dropping out of secondary education”.
“With the attainment of gender parity at the basic level, we plan to achieve gender parity at junior and senior high schools at all regions by 2022 through the implementation of targeted interventions such as bursary support and improved in-school guidance and counselling.”
Dr Opoku Prempeh admitted that teacher education must be inclusive in order to achieve quality education for all, therefore, colleges of education, as centres of excellence, must find ways to embed and strengthen gender-responsive and socially-inclusive practices that lasted beyond 2020, that the T-TEL support would end.
He said getting well-educated and motivated teachers into Ghana’s schools was critical to improving learning outcomes, growth and development, hence government’s decision to embrace the T-TEL programme.
The new Bachelor in Education (B.Ed) curriculum, therefore, aims to improve the learning experience of pre-service teachers who are ready to teach, inspire and educate the young people so they can lead the country’s progress and prosperity.
Mr Robin Todd, the T-TEL Team Leader, said T-TEL sought to harness the energy and expertise of stakeholders across the teacher education sector.
“T-TEL supports innovation, inclusion, best practice and results to ensure high-quality teachers are there to teach, inspire and educate Ghana’s young people to lead the country’s progress and prosperity,” he said.
Mr Todd said T-TEL is a six-year government programme to ensure the teaching graduates were equipped to deliver high-quality, inspirational teaching and learning in schools.
“We are working with the Ministry of Education, its regulatory agencies, all 46 public colleges of education and other education institutions to strengthen pre-service teacher education in Ghana and to support the implementation of the Bachelor in Education (B.Ed) Degree,” he said.
The T-TEL is supported by UK Department for International Development (DFID) as part of its Girls Participatory Approaches to Students Success (G-PASS) programme and managed by Cambridge Education.