Ministry of Education sets up secretariat to coordinate education reform
In an effort to transform Ghana’s education to correspond to modern trends and priorities, the Ministry of Education has developed a comprehensive Education Strategic Plan (2018-2030) that sets out the vision and policies for moving the country into a “learning nation”. This 12-year document was developed alongside the Education Sector Analysis (ESA) 2018 and the Education Sector Medium-Term Development Plan (ESMTDP) 2018-2021. The Education Strategic Plan recognizes the strengths and weaknesses of the current educational system and prescribes strategies to address the challenges in order to give every Ghanaian child the opportunity to succeed and contribute to national development.
It is expected that these reforms will ultimately contribute to the goals of the ESP and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 4) and lead to the improvement of learning outcomes, especially at the pre-tertiary levels. The three main priorities of the education reforms are: Improved learning outcomes, enhanced accountability and equity at all levels of the education sector.
In order to ensure effective coordination and implementation of the Reform Initiatives, the Honourable Minister of education, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh in December 2018, established and inaugurated the National Education Reform Secretariat (NERS), with the sole responsibility of facilitating the implementation of key reforms under the ESP, the Minister’s Results Framework and the manifesto commitments of the government.
The Secretariat was also charged with the mandate to ensure that these reforms are not just delivered at a national level (through the production of a curriculum or legal and policy documents) but that they are effectively implemented throughout the system so that they have a positive impact on learning outcomes in schools.
The 12 key reform areas are:
- Policy on Teacher Education Reforms led by the NCTE through T-TEL: Leads to the conversion of the Colleges of Education into University Colleges and the rollout of a new Bachelor of Education teacher education curriculum to improve the quality of new teachers for the basic education sector.
- Pre-Tertiary Curriculum Reform through NaCCA: Leads to the design and implementation of a new pre-tertiary education curriculum with Standards and Assessment frameworks.
- Legal, Institutional and Regulatory Reforms: Leads to the creation of a new agency that combines the functions of the National Accreditation Board (NAB) and the National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE).
- Tertiary Education Reform: Leads to the conversion of the National Film and Television Institute (NAFTI) and the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) into one University; and the consolidation of the Kumasi Campus of the University of Education Winneba and a few existing COEs into a Technical Teacher Training University, in addition to other governance and regulatory reforms.
- Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Reforms: Realignment of all Technical and Vocational Institutions (TVIs) to be under MOE and creates a Technical and Vocational Education Service (TVES) to govern them.
- Operationalization of Pre-Tertiary Teacher Professional and Management Development Framework through NTC: leads to the establishment of a teacher licensing and registration system in Ghana, and a framework for teacher career progression based on the acquisition of skills and competencies.
- Introduction of a new school supervision and inspection system through NIB: Leads to the establishment of a new inspection framework, inspection tools and revised inspection protocols, in partnership with Education Development and OFSTED.
- Basic Education Decentralisation Reform: leads to the devolution of Basic Education to District Assemblies, impacting the functions of the GES, NTC, NaCCA and NIB.
- Ghana Partnership School: Leads to MOE and GES partnering with non-state actors to manage and deliver effective education service in public senior high schools.
- GES Institutional and Human Resource Reform: leads to the streamlining of GES’s operations to increase efficiency and reduce the redundancies resulting from Basic Education decentralisation, and a comprehensive reform of HR systems.
- ICT in Education Reforms: Seeks to develop early desire and competences in children to use ICT, equip pre-tertiary learners with ICT skills, infuse ICTs into education management, and transform teacher development and tertiary education through technology-based training.
- Secondary Education Reform (4 Pillars): With the Free SHS Programme, MOE seeks to absorb all fees paid at the senior high school level, and additionally to expand physical infrastructure, improve quality, and promote skill development and equity.
The National Coordinator of the Education Reform Secretariat, Mr. Enoch H. Cobbinah, speaking on behalf of his colleagues, during the inauguration ceremony, stated that the Secretariat was a strategic resource, which the Ministry had engineered to enhance, compliment and support its existing capacity to effectively coordinate, harmonise, implement and report on Reforms and the Education Sector Plan.
He assured the Minister that they would work very hard to help firmly establish the culture of accountability for performance, raise the quality of education and improve learning outcomes, since this was a requirement to transforming the nation.
The Minister expressed his profound appreciation to the Department for International Development (DFID) for the enormous support provided and called on all other Development Partners to demonstrate their commitment to support the Ministry of Education achieve the goals of the Education Sector Plan (ESP) by providing funding and technical support for the work of the Secretariat.