I’ll ensure equal educ opportunities – Minister of Education nominee

The Minister of Education nominee, Dr Yaw Adutwum, has given the assurance that if approved by Parliament, his priority would be to bridge the urban-rural divide for equal educational opportunities for all Ghanaian students. 

According to him, the Ministry of Communications and his outfit will have to collaborate efforts to initiate a digitisation programme to improve rural connectivity to give children in rural areas unfettered access to education. 

“If  you help me and I become the minister, these are issues that I have assured that I will be addressing and with your input, we are going to do a better job in educating our children in the midst of this [Covid-19] pandemic,” Dr Adutwum, MP, Bosomtwe, in Ashanti Region said.

He gave the assurance to the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, on the floor of Parliament, in Accra, on Tuesday while contributing to a statement made by MP for Tafo, Vincent Ekow Assafuah, to underscore the importance of education on the occasion of International Day of Education. 

Mr Iddrisu had raised concerns over what he thought was the widening gap in the public and private; and urban-rural education systems in the country. 

He said whilst students, mostly in private schools in urban areas remained in school virtually during the closure of schools as a result of the COVID-19, their colleagues in public schools and largely in rural areas were without education. 

Questioning government’s preparedness for schools in the midst of worsening COVID-19 situation, following their re-opening after 10 months, Mr Iddrisu, MP, Tamale South, said “we are not being fair to Ghanaian students in public schools.” 

He said the time to secure the future of the affected students was now because “if they lose their foundational years, we would have lost it forever. This is the only time they can learn literacy and numeracy. Let us take urgent steps to ensure that they don’t lose their foundational years.”

However, admitting that the fears of Mr Iddrisu were genuine and would be given the utmost attention having learnt a lesson during the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr Adutwum said all hands were needed on deck to address the divide that put some students ahead of others. 

Dr Adutwum commended teachers and all in the education sector, assuring that “the leadership of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, is committed to the fact that education remained the vehicle for socio-economic development.” 

The day, set aside by the United Nations and marked on January 24 every year, was on the theme “Recover and Reinitialise Education for the COVID-19 Generation”.

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