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General News of Friday, 13 April 2018


Interventions in education must be data-driven – Deputy Minister

Deputy Minister of Education, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, has stressed the need for research data to inform interventions in the educational sector to help transform Ghana’s educational system.

He said while the nation was making some significant strides in education, there was no proper system in place, and the needed requirements to make it work effectively were lacking.

Teachers, he said, relied on their instincts in deciding which students were doing well and which were not.

Speaking at a forum to share the results of some studies and assessments by the USAID Evaluating systems and learning, under the USAID Partnership for Education programme, Dr. Adutwum said it was important to combine the old tools with new ones that relied on data, rather than on hunches, so that policy interventions did not just shoot in the dark.

“…So that we can begin to bring interventions that bring about transformation in the education system,” he said.

Citing examples to buttress the need for data in informing interventions in the sector, he noted that while most people thought the Central Region was the best performing region in education at the secondary level, preliminary data from a study conducted showed that the best performing region was the Brong Ahafo Region.

He said the work of Evaluation systems, under the USAID PFE, was helping to lay the foundation for basing decisions on real data rather than hunches and for assessing progress to ascertain where interventions had worked and where they had not.

He added that this was important because transforming the educational sector into a sustainable and viable one was critical to transforming the socio-economic status of Ghana.

The Ghana Education Director of USAID, Mr. James Dobson, noted that a high-quality basic education service delivery with improved learning outcomes was crucial to Ghana’s national development, peace and prosperity, and for achieving the President’s vision of Ghana beyond aid.

He said USAID had been a longstanding partner in supporting Ghana with measurements activities, the results of which had informed policy formulation.

He said USAID had supported the Ministry of Education and the creation of the 2018-2030 educational sector plan, which was almost finished.

“I am truly impressed at what we have been able to accomplish together in recent years,” he said, adding that, the four additional study activities and assessment, presented the early grade reading impact evaluation baseline report, the early grade math impact evaluation baseline report, the language mapping study of 100 districts in Ghana, and a work in process update on the teacher rationalization study, would contribute to the overall goal of improving service delivery and learning outcomes in Ghana.