The Minister for Education says the introduction of the Free Senior High School policy has resulted in an increment in student enrolment by some 31%, as opposed to the spectre of 100,000 students falling out of school each year at the Junior High School level in the years before 2017.
Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh indicated that “for the first time in 10 years, under President Akufo-Addo, we have said this and nobody has been able to dispute it, every child in every secondary school has been supplied with all the core textbooks. It has never happened before.”
He continued, “Not only have we supplied the core textbooks, we have also supplied revision books in Maths. Not only that, we are buying questions and answers of the past WAEC exams since 1993 for the students to learn. There is no better time to study than now.”
The Minister for Education made this known on Monday, July 8, when he joined President Akufo-Addo at a meeting with members of the Ghanaian community in Paris, as part of the latter’s official visit to that country.
Dr. Opoku Prempeh indicated that when the Northern grants were established by Ghana’s first leader, Kwame Nkrumah, there were only two schools in the whole of the 3 Northern Regions.
“It did not prevent Kwame Nkrumah from starting bursaries for the Northern schools. Not having enough classrooms will never stop us from having Free SHS. In fact, Ghanaians have voted, and enrolment increased by 31% in 2017 and 2018,” he said.
Towards addressing issues associated with the introduction of the Double Track school system, the Minister for Education indicated that 8,000 teachers were specifically employed.
“We did the timetables that we needed, and the President ordered the Finance Minister to provide financial clearance, and we did. It includes the 59,000 teachers we have employed between now and then. It is not very true what you hear when you listen to social media always. Sometimes your judgement becomes clouded with the truth,” he added.
With the introduction of the 4-year Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) degree in 2018, in the country’s University Colleges, the Education Minister noted that “there is no teacher going to be a diploma teacher. Everyone who is coming out will get a degree.”
The conversion of Colleges of Education into University Colleges by the Akufo-Addo government, the Minister stressed, has resulted in a record number of students seeking admission.
“When they were diploma students, they spent an inordinate amount of time doing top-ups in other schools, and not concentrating in the classroom. Now, it is not a second-rate school to go to because they couldn’t get into the university. It is a choice that they have decided to make as teachers,” he said.
The Education Minister also lamented about non-training of teachers in the curriculum of Junior High Schools for some forty (40) years, with the last teacher resource pack given to teachers compiled in the 1950s.
“We have done it (training of teachers in new curriculum) this year. Things will get better. Education is such that we have to put in a huge investment before you can reap the fruits. It is not like taking your child to the hospital. That is instant. It takes time and we need patience from Ghanaians. Ghana’s education has never been as best as it is now, and it will get better,” Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh added.
Private Varsities Want Autonomy
The Private Universities Students Association of Ghana (PUSAG) has called on government to make private universities autonomous.
At the handover ceremony of the newly elected executives of PUSAG, which was under the theme: “Academic Freedom: Ensuring the Autonomous and Effective Running of Private Universities,” the Minister of State for Tertiary Education, Professor Kwesi Yankah, gave an assurance that the autonomy issue was being looked at by Parliament.
He said government was determined to take measures to rule out the outmoded affiliation system.
He indicated that government was making plans to remove all barriers that limit the ability of private tertiary institutions to become more effective and also put the private institutions on the same status as the public universities. “The new policy introduces measures that seek to make the private universities autonomous,” he affirmed.
Later in an interview, Prof. Yankson added that the new policy would award licence to private universities after three years of operation, depending on the number of years the university has been in existence and the facilities they have to operate with if they become autonomous.
“Licence will be awarded to private universities that can operate on their own in terms of facilities and professionalism of lecturers,” he said. The Chief Executive Officer of Joy for Fame, John Obiri Yeboah, who was a guest speaker, said the existence of private tertiary institution had helped in the development of the country and promised to support PUSAG to become effective.
The past National President of PUSAG, Charles Opoku, mentioned that private universities cannot continue to have their ‘competitors’ as their ‘masters’ and called on government to provide a five-year road map to give autonomy to private universities. He used the opportunity to outline some of the successes of his administration.
The newly elected President of PUSAG, Alswel Annan, called on management of private universities to admit more students.
Nana Dr. Appiagyei Dankawoso I, who chaired the function, advised the newly elected executives to stay focused and not dabble in unnecessary partisan politics.
“Don’t let any politician to use you; never be moved by what you see and hear but by the spirit,” he advised.
Political Science Students Defend Prof Gyampo
Some former and current students of the Political Science Department of the University of Ghana have thrown their weight behind Prof. Ransford Gyampo, Head of the Centre for European Studies at the University, in the “Sex for Grade” scandal that hit the country some weeks ago.
Prof. Gyampo was captured in a documentary put together by the BBC Africa Eye. The 53 minutes documentary which had about 10 minutes focused on Prof. Gyampo, according to the BBC, was supposed to have revealed “Sex for Grades” in some West African Universities. However, the job by the BBC has been described by many including the revered Ghanaian professor of communication, Prof. Kwasi Ansu-Kyeremeh, as a ‘journalistic investigation gone rogue.’
Declaring their support, the students in a statement, jointly released with the #IStandWithGyampo Movement, described the documentary as “bogus and of no basis” saying “the video fails to establish any case of extortion, solicitation, abuse of power, intimidation or coercion.”
The BBC in an interview with Ghanaweb had stated that they only filmed Prof. Gyampo and one other lecturer, Dr. Paul Butakor, because the two were their “target”. The students believe the professor was targeted to be silenced by the BBC, because of his power and influence in the Ghanaian political scene.
The BBC’s admission that Prof. Gyampo was their ‘target’, according to the students, feeds into a sinister agenda to run down an enviable reputation without course or purpose.
Professor Gyampo, described as “a dedicated lecturer” by his students, is a philanthropist who believes in community of service. This is manifested in his works in the Central Region, where he hails from and other places.
He has contributed immensely to Ghana’s electoral politics and political architecture, serving through NGOs and CSOs including the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), one of the nation’s respected entities on electoral matters. He is an outspoken academic whose views on important national issues are well documented, both in the media and academic papers he has published.
The students in their statement indicated their awareness of the University’s Sexual Harassment Policy and how ‘hard it bites even students’ acknowledging that grades at the University of Ghana are to be awarded based on merit and not through any form of pleasantries including sex. “We frown on any act of solicitation on the part of lecturers or students,” they indicated.
They however emphasized that the BBC video, only showed footage of two consenting adults exchanging gestures of intimacy.
Meanwhile, Prof. Gyampo and Dr. Butakor have both been interdicted by the University while investigation is currently ongoing.
APPLY HERE: YEA partners GES for SHS non-teaching staff recruitment
In line with the mandate of the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) to create jobs for the unemployed youth of Ghana, the Agency in partnership with the Ghana Education Service (GES) seek to recruit about 7,730 young Ghanaians from across various districts of the country to be trained and deployed to Senior High Schools unders the School’s Support Programme.
This recruitment is as published in the daily graphic newspaper on the 25th of October 2019.
The School Support Programme is a school based support programme aimed at ensuring the health and safety of students and staff of various SHSs in the country.
a) Schools Guards/ Security Assistants (SAs)
b) Kitchen Assistants
Applicant must be aged between 18-35 years.
Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE)
MODE OF APPLICATION
It is an online application.
Alternatively, interested applicants may visit any of the agency’s district offices.
General News6 days ago
9 REASONS WHY KWAME JNR IS WINNING THE NASPA PRESIDENCY AT KUMASI METRO
Entertainment6 days ago
‘”The Burial Of Kojo” Makes History At Golden Globes Entry
General News6 days ago
StarTimes Bundesliga School Set To Reshape Youth Football
General News6 days ago
2020 Is Year Of Roads – Says Gov’t
Entertainment5 days ago
Amakye Dede, Samini Slated For ‘Giants Unplugged’ Concert
Entertainment5 days ago
Bhim Concert Goes To Tamale
General News3 hours ago
Ekumfi Fruit Juice Hits Parliament
Sports2 hours ago
Mourinho named new Tottenham manager succeeding Pochettino