Mr Yaw Buaben Asamoa, Communication Director, New Patriotic Party (NPP), has urged Ghanaians to retain the NPP in power to transform the educational sector as outlined in the Education Strategic Plan.
He said the plan, which spanned 2018 to 2030, sought to reform the sector and make teaching and learning more relevant to meet the human resource and development needs of the country.
Mr Buaben Asamoa, made the call at a press briefing in Accra organised by the Party to highlight some of the interventions of the government in the educational sector.
He said in three and half years, the government had restored Teacher Trainee allowance, developed National Teachers Standards for Pre-service Teachers and developed a National Teacher Education Curriculum Framework to guide Teacher Education Institutions in the development of relevant world-class curricula.
Mr Buaben Asamoa stated that the government had introduced a Quality Assurance, Accreditation and Assessment Tool for all 46 Colleges of Education to promote the training of high-quality teachers and worked with five teacher education universities to develop a three-semester top-up programme for in-service teachers to upgrade and acquire Bachelor of Education.
The government, he noted, had developed and deployed Colleges of Education Information Management System (CEMIS) to ensure information and data sharing between Colleges and the National Council for Tertiary Education as well as introduced the National Service Scheme for graduates of Colleges of education.
He said the conditions of service of teachers had been improved and that 35,515 staff that were at positions including Basic School Head, Headteachers, Assistant Headteachers, Chaplain/Imam, Form Master/Mistress were receiving responsibility allowance.
Mr Buaben Asamoa recalled that available data from the Ghana Education Service between 2013 and 2016 indicated that, on the average, 100,000 children, every year, passed the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) but could not take up their places in Senior High School due financial constraints.
“This represented about 35 per cent of the total number of children who had been placed. Of those who took up their places, 22 per cent dropped out, again due to financial reasons. Free SHS has therefore come as a major boost to parents, students and the nation,” he said.
Mr Buaben Asamoa, who is also the Member of Parliament for Adentan, said the Senior High School population stood at about 1.2 million students, up from 800,000 at the start of the 2016/17 academic year.
Although the government introduced the double-track system, he said over the last three years, more than 1,000 structures, including dormitories, classroom blocks and laboratories were under construction to end it.
“Any promise by National Democratic Congress (NDC) leadership to abolish Double Track in seven months is unrealistic and desperate. It is obvious that the NDC does not understand the Double Track system, and have no real commitment to Free SHS,” he said.
Mr Buaben Asamoa said government had developed Technical and Vocational Skills (TVET) to help tackle challenges presented by the 4th industrial revolution, which requires tailor-made solutions that are adaptable globally.
He said the five-year Strategic Plan for TVET Transformation would among other things see the overall Upgrading and Modernization of the Vocational Education System in the country.
He said the plan would address the skills gap in the country by the revamping vocational training infrastructure across the country, resulting in the creation of world-class training facilities linked to current job market demands.