Ghana’s Minister of Education, Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh (NAPO) has said that the capitation grant has been increased from GHC4.50p per child to GHC10 annually under the new New Patriotic Party (NPP) leadership.
NAPO indicated, the increment of capitation grant per child annually has been a 122 percent increment at the public basic schools.
”Effective 2017/18 academic year, Capitation Grant amount was increased from GHS 4.5 per student per year to GHS 10.0 per student per year. The 122% increase in per capita Capitation Grant is expected to remove cost barriers to free access and provide schools with a minimum amount of funds required to keep schools running.” He said.
Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh was speaking at the 2nd National Education Week held at the La Palm Royal Beach Hotel in Accra. from the 6th to 9th August 2019.
In his peach, the Minister said a Research conducted by the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) in 2015 revealed that fees and levies charged to pupils hindered access and effective participation in basic education to those who had difficulty paying fees and levies imposed by the schools.
The Education Minister used the opportunity to list some of the successes chocked by the Education Sector during his tenure as Minister.
”We started off in 2017 with the resolve to pursue bold and transformative measures to address challenges that had hindered the 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 the board.” He said.
Secondly, the Minister said they were confronted with an outdated curricular.
”Indeed, attempts had been made in past years without success to revise as a curriculum as it is seen as key to the delivery of quality education,” He said.
NAPO indicated, that In 2017, they prioritized curriculum revision and pursued it aggressively. Within the period under review, KG – Primary curriculum was completed.
”Roll-out is set to commence in September when the 2019/2020 academic year starts. With the revised curricular, the emphasis has been placed on the acquisition of foundational reading, writing, arithmetic and creativity skills.” He said.
The Minister admitted that ahead of the implementation of the new curricular, all the necessary Teaching and Learning Materials have been developed and training of teachers for delivery was currently ongoing across the country.
Secondary Level Achievements
At the Secondary level, NAPO said there was evidence that cost barriers constrained access and effective participation for many eligible students.
”Cost and ability to pay fees were cited as contributory factors in explaining why many truncated their education at the basic level.” He said.
”Indeed, evidence showed that every year, an average of 100,000 JHS graduates who qualified and we placed in public SHS failed to enroll. We boldly confronted the challenge and rolled out free SHS in 2017, essentially removing cost barriers to secondary education.” He indicated.
According to him, the response has been a phenomenal increase in Secondary level enrollment.
”Significantly, the percentage of students placed that fail to enroll has declined from 27% (111,336 students) of all students placed in 2016 to 11% (53,107 students) of all students placed in 2018.” He said.
”Moreover, the existing catchment area quota in school placement was reformed into equity placement for students from public JHS. By this initiative,30% of places in 55 elite SHS have been reserved for students from public JHS who were underrepresented in the elite schools.” He said.
”Following the implementation of equity placement measure, 49% of the total of free SHS beneficiaries in the elite schools are from public JHS.” He indicated.
College Level Achievements
Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh said Teachers were not adequately prepared for the delivery of quality education.
”Within the period, the teacher training curriculum has been revised. This is intended to adequately equip the teacher for the delivery of our national curriculum.” He said.
”Further, we have upgraded pre-service teacher training from a 3-year Diploma in Basic Education to a 4-year Bachelor of Education Degree Programme. To facilitate this, our Colleges of Education have been affiliated to various public Universities.” He added.
”In addition, specializations have been introduced, hence, teachers will now specialize in teaching at Kindergartens and specific subjects at the Basic level.” He said.
TVET Sub-Sector Achievements
He lamented, that the Ministry was confronted with the challenge of poor coordination, different management structures and governance arrangement that affected the development of the TVET and skills training sub-sector.
”Given the potential of TVET to our national development, we had a big vision for the sub-sector. We have within the period put together a 5-year TVET strategic plan that is guiding the development of the TVET and skills training front.” He said.
General Tertiary Level Achievements
Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh said his administration met a sector without a guiding policy direction.
”Consequently, tertiary education had developed without proper guidance as the expansion was not properly coordinated. Within the period, we took on the challenge and developed a National Tertiary Education Policy with extensive stakeholder consultations.” He said.
”Generally, the education sector had an outdated legal and institutional framework. This posed a challenge to effective management and governance of the sector for the delivery of quality service.”
”To address this, we initiated a comprehensive legal and institutional reform agenda in 2017. To date, the Ministry has 5 bills laid before Parliament.” He added.
The Education Minister also spoke about how the Ministry planned to achieve all of its policies/Reforms.
”To achieve the intended outcome of the reforms, there is the need to create an institutional delivery framework dedicated to the coordination, alignment, harmonization, monitoring, tracking and evaluation of KPIs and targets of key reform initiatives and the provision of capacity support to Reform Owners to address capacity gaps and slippages.”
”This led to the adoption of the “EDUCATION REFORM DELIVERY FRAMEWORK” and the establishment of the Education Reform Secretariat in December 2018, which I had the honor to inaugurate.” He said.
Focus on Innovations
He, however, indicated the comprehensive reform agenda will continue to be the focus of the Ministry’s work over the next year.
”The theme for the 2019 National Education Week (NEW), ‘Reforming the Education Sector for Effective Service Deliver: Embracing Innovations’ brings focus to the reform agenda and highlight the importance of innovative and creative ways of working to the education sector. ”
”It signals the Ministry’s intention to work with stakeholders in adapting proven measures that will accelerate the pace of progress in the education sector.” He said.