The government has been urged to ensure that gender concerns cut across all areas of education to accelerate development in the country
According to the Board Chairman of Transforming Teaching and Learning (T-Tel), a non- profit organisation focused on promoting quality education, Professor Jophus Anamuah-Mensah, said nations that had intentionally structured their educational systems to promote gender parity had made tremendous progress.
He made the admonishment at the 2022-2023 Leading Girls’ Learning Programme (LGLP) town hall meeting in Accra on Tuesday themed “Empowering Females in Second Cycle Educational Institutions in Ghana.”
The LGLP programme aims to change attitudes against girls and women in second cycle educational institutions in Ghana to contribute to lasting improvement in girls learning.
It was also to build local capacity to deliver improved teaching in general and for female teachers in particular, improve the classroom learning and achievement of all students, with a particular focus on the underperformance of girls in selected schools.
The LGLP initiative is being undertaken by the Institute of Teacher Education Development (INTED) with support from the United States Agency for International Development(USAID).
Prof. Anamuah-Mensah bemoaned that, there was limited evidence to show that schools had put measures in place to address gender inclusion issues, saying this was constraining the opportunity for all students to achieve their full potential.
“Genderconcernsmustbeanintegralpartofsecondaryeducation especially, the inclusion of clear, realistic and appropriate strategies, interventions, targets and quotas for girls, boys and students with special needs at different levels of education is very necessary,” he stressed.
Every country that had made rapid and significant progress he said, had placed education at the heart of its development, adding that, Ghana needed to further place gender at the centre of its educational system.
He commended the government for the implementation of the Free SHS policy but was worried that for more than a decade, the SHS curriculum had not been reviewed to reflect the changing global and national developments in science and technology.
The prof. said “Teaching and learning in SHS is overly focused on factual recall of content knowledge and is not engaging students and helping to develop critical thinking and analytical skills. This obviously is not preparing them for the world of work,” he added.
On his part, Executive Director of INTED, Mr Kwabena Amporful called on authorities to introduce frequent professional development programmes for teachers, adding that female teachers must also take advantage of such opportunities to build their capacities and catch up with their male counterparts.
Education Office Director, USAID Ghana, Madam Rasheena Reid in her remarks said the USAID recognised the significance of building up its local partners to have a developmental objective to advance community development.
She mentioned that her outfit was also committed to partnering with its partners in Ghana including the Ministry of Education and its agencies to strengthen local networks.
A former Director of Girls’ Education, Ghana Education Service, MrsBenedictaTenniSeidu said schools should be made safe for girls to study and thrive, adding that caregivers and teachers who sexually exploited girls must be punished accordingly.
Registrar, National Teaching Council, Dr Christian Addai-Poku advised teachers to ensure they frequently enhanced their skills to avoid gaps, adding that the world was rapidly changing therefore “persons who give knowledge must ensure they are knowledgeable.”
BY RAISSA SAMBOU