Feature Article of Saturday, 21 April 2012
Columnist: Sakyi, Kwesi Atta
Curriculum Reform of Secondary Education in Ghana – Way Forward from 2013 – Part 5 (Final)
by Kwesi Atta Sakyi
14th April 2012
In the final part of the series on this topic, I shall examine global perspectives as they affect education in Ghana. We need a very strong ICT- driven education in Ghana, as it is the only intervention which is cost effective and has wider reach. It is commendable on the part of government to undertake the e-book project, dubbed Kindle. This project should be extended to the senior secondary schools so that they can have internet access to vast online resource libraries all over the world. We will need to have a lot of hardware and software from our cooperating partners and we can approach Microsoft and the Bill Gates Foundation for help. ICT can replace teachers, where teachers are in short supply. We could rely on solar energy or alternative energy sources, where the national electricity grid is not available. e-books and e-learning is very cheap and flexible. We will need the government to commission new books for our secondary schools and this will be a challenge to teachers and Ghanaian authors to rise to the occasion, by producing appropriate books for the proposed new curriculum for the JHS and SHS. ICT solutions can be used to equalise and democratise education, by bridging the digital divide as well as income gap.
In 2000, UNESCO organized the Education For All Conference in Dakar, to hammer out modalities for achieving education for all by the year 2015. It became imperative that all member countries should put in motion measures to make education accessible to all. The Ghana Government should be commended highly for the interventions instituted so far, such as building numerous school blocks, training more teachers, closing the gender gap and providing interventions such as free school uniforms and the school feeding programme. However, more needs to be done to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. There should be a radical shakeup of our Ministry of Education (MOE), which has many deadwoods, retrogressive minds and conservatives. There is too much politics in our educational system, affecting critical areas such as recruitment and appointments, management of school resources, among others. We need urgently the decentralisation of our educational delivery system. The Capitation Grant should be increased and properly supervised. To enhance efficiency, economy and effectiveness of our secondary school system, we will need to keep up with global trends and implement rigorously and vigorously the various resolutions adopted by the UN in areas pertaining to education, ICT, gender and the disabled. For example, in 1990, there was the Jomtien UN Conference on Education in Thailand, and a decade later, we had the Dakar Conference. In 1966, there was the landmark UNESCO Addis Ababa Conference, which greatly influenced the trend of education in Africa in general, and Ghana in particular. All these conferences emphasized on measures to accelerate access to education for girls, the disabled, and the less privileged. They also encouraged broadening the scope of education to make the learning outcomes germane to the needs of particular countries. In 1975, there was the UN Conference on Women in Mexico, to be followed by others such as the Cairo Conference in 1994 and the 1995 Beijing Conference. All these conferences on Women, outlined the need for empowerment of women and their equal participation in national issues, such as effective representation in parliament, boardrooms and in the labour force. We need to produce more women leaders in Africa such as the late Nobel Laureate, Ms Wangari Mathaai of Kenya, current presidents of Liberia, Her Excellency, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and now, Her Excellency, Mrs Joyce Banda of Malawi.
Those conferences called for the end to all forms of discrimination and violence against women. Thus, we need to encourage girl-child education in our secondary schools by taking steps to reduce their dropout rates. Universal Education has been recognised by the UN since 1948, as a fundamental human right. In order to encourage women to be aware of their rights, I have recommended the introduction of Development Studies in the proposed new curriculum. The more girls enrol in this course, the more they will be exposed to their rights, which will prepare them properly for their future roles as wives, mothers, entrepreneurs and empowered citizens. I also call for proper educational policies to be adopted for the provision of those who are physically and mentally challenged.
In conclusion, I call upon all stakeholders to come up with suggestions on how we can improve the delivery of secondary education in Ghana. You can email me at:- [email protected]
- http://yfughana.webs.com/ghanaeducation system.htm (Nancy Keteku)
- Sakyi, K.A. 2012. Is the education system in Ghana globally competitive? Ghanaweb article of 20th January, 2012
Sakyi, K.A 2000. The Discontinuity in Secondary School Policy Making in Zambia – 1963-1990
(Unpublished MPA Dissertation, Unisa)
Sakyi, K.A. 1978. Investment in Human Capital – A factor for economic growth and development – The case of Ghana from 1960 to 1975 (Unpublished B.A Long Essay, University of Ghana, Legon)
Kuznets, Simon. 1973. Population, Capital and Growth: Selected Essays. New York: Norton
Psarcharopoulos, George Returns to Investment in Education: A Further Update. Social Science Research Network