This year’s National Education Week has been launched in Accra, with a call on stakeholders to help build a robust educational system in the country.
The week is set aside annually to engage stakeholders in the review of sector performance and collectively strategise towards the attainment of sector targets in the ensuing year.
It is on the theme: “Reforming the Education Sector for Effective Service Delivery: Assessing Progress”.
In a speech read on his behalf, at the event, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said this year’s theme was particularly important, because it enabled stakeholders to pause and reflect on the reform gains that had been achieved so far.
He said the government’s flagship free Senior High School (SHS) programme, which was rolled out in September 2017, had rapidly opened up access to senior high school education, by enabling an extra 400,000 students enroll in SHS between the 2016/17 academic year and the 2019/20 academic year.
“This is most remarkable, and despite the challenges with implementation, Ghanaians have embraced this programme. Of course, education goes beyond access. That is why my government is committed to ensuring quality, relevant education that will produce confident, skilled global citizens ready and able to compete with their counterparts anywhere in the world,” he emphasised.
President Akufo-Addo said government had delivered free core text books, exercise books, provided remedial measures for students through academic interventions and introduced a 30% equity policy in SHS access, among others, in a bid to improve learning outcomes.
He explained that beyond the Free SHS programme, government had pursued other bold and transformative measures to address challenges that had hindered progress of the education sector for many years.
“We were convinced that those difficult decisions were critical to make access to education equitable and improve quality across board. First, basic schools had high incidence of fees and levies, as the Capitation Grant amount of GH₵ 4.50 per child per year was said to be inadequate,” the President said.
He indicated that the Technical, Vocational, Education & Training (TVET) sub-sector was confronted with number of challenges ranging from poor coordination, different management structures and governance arrangement that affected the development of TVET and skills training.
To this end, the President said the government within the period had put together a 5-year TVET strategic plan that was guiding the development on the TVET and skills training front.
“As part of my government’s efforts to revamp and mainstream Technical, Vocational Education & Training (TVET) in this country, a Technical and Vocational Education Service (TVES) is to be set up under the Ministry of Education. The purpose of the agency is to provide focused attention on this important sector, in line with our vision of a skilled country ready to provide the manpower needs for its industrialisation drive,” President Akufo-Addo added.
BY CLIFF EKUFUL