The National Inspectorate Board (NIB) is to be transformed into a regulatory authority to oversee activities of the Ghana Education Service (GES) and private schools.
The Deputy Director-General in charge of Management Services, Mr Anthony Boateng, who announced this, said the move was part of ongoing reforms being undertaken to improve education delivery at the pre-tertiary subsector in the country.
The Deputy Director-General was speaking at a day’s training workshop on the Secondary Education Improvement Project, held here, on Friday for selected journalists from across the country.
He said NIB would be decoupled from the GES, and cloaked with the necessary powers to act as an independent umpire to enable the service focus on the management of public schools.
Mr Boateng indicated that “Currently, the GES is the body tasked with the management of both public and private pre-tertiary schools in the country, however, as part of the reforms, the service will be seized with just the management of public schools to compete with its counterparts in the private sector and activities of both will be regulated by the board”.
Speaking on the topic “Update of GES Institutional Reforms”, the Deputy Director-General said as part of the educational reforms to improve the delivery of quality education, the board would be decoupled from the GES and given the mandate to regulate both public and private schools to ensure standards.
Mr Boateng explained that the situation in which the GES acted as a service and a regulatory body would change, to ensure that schools in public and private sectors were subjected to the same standards of delivery.
“Private schools in the country are going to be taken out of our system as part of ongoing reforms in the sector and the GES will see private schools as competitors rather than regulator since the service cannot be a player and a referee at the same time.
Mr Boateng said with effect from 2022, the GES would no longer employ diploma certificate holders to teach in schools under its management, which according to him was in line with government’s policy of making first degree the minimum qualification for teaching in the country.
He, however, said those already in active service with diploma certificates would be retained and phased out gradually, stressing that no teacher would be sacked, but with time, those who would be unable to upgrade themselves, would be phased out of the system.
On his part, the Director-General of the GES, Professor Kwasi Opoku- Amankwa, explained that the rationale for the introduction of SEIP was to help improve on quality delivery in over 100 deprived secondary schools.
“It is important to emphasise that it has become a ritual where just close to about 50 to 60 schools are the ones virtually everyone wants his or her ward or child to attend, and this puts pressure on such school,” he added.
SEIP is a $196-million World Bank Credit Facility project designed to assist the Government of Ghana improve on the delivery of secondary education in the country.
Starting in 2014, the project which is expected to end in 2021 aims at not just improving access to secondary education in underserved districts, but also to improve quality in about 125 low-performing senior high schools in the country.
FROM CLIFF EKUFUL, LARTEH AKUAPEM