The Department of Basic Education has been called upon to collaborate with the government to turn the fortunes of the country around through education.
The Deputy Education Minister in charge of Basic & Secondary Education, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, who made the call, said the initiation of the transformation of education in Ghana was not only coming from the government but all stakeholders in the education sector. He noted that early childhood in education in the country, according to the World Bank, had performed abysmally in proficiency since 2015 and, therefore, charged the Department to play its complementary role to salvage the state of Basic Education in Ghana.
The Deputy Education Minister in charge of Basic & Secondary Education made the call when he joined students and lecturers to mark the 25th anniversary of the Department on the theme: “Quality Education: A Pivot for Human Resource Development”. He said the world was using “reading as a proxy for how well children are learning in other subjects”, adding, “If they can’t read, how can they do Social Studies, History or Geography? So when the child is proficient in reading, then there are many other things that they can do”.He indicated that the government was building Kindergartens (KGs) across the country through the “One million dollar per constituency initiative” stating that “For example, in my constituency through the One million dollar per Constituency Initiative, I have built about four KGs”, he added
He commended the Department for adopting some basic schools in communities close to the University adding that “Focus on these schools and ensure that every pupil can read by age 10”. That, he said, the Department would have contributed immensely not just to the school but the fortunes of the child and the society.
The Deputy Minister, who is also the Member of Parliament for Bosomtwe Constituency in the Ashanti Region, said the future of Ghana was in the hands of Basic School Educators and could not be determined by only politicians. He asked the Department: “What if we could raise volunteers about 100,000 and each one of them taught one child to read at the proficiency level? What will happen to that child? The child’s future will be different.”
Dr. Adutwum said quality education involved the professional development of teachers. He further stated that “Quality education is also about supervision, pedagogy and the curriculum aimed at improving learning outcomes, as well as the learning environment and nutritional programmes to attract and keep learners at school”.
The Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Prof Dora Edu-Buandoh, who chaired the function, expressed discomfort over the dying spirit of volunteerism and patriotism among younger people in the country. She noted that the youth remained the fulcrum of society, and concerted efforts were required to help instill a sense of love for nation and civility in them so that they would grow and render selfless services to the nation.
As part of the anniversary, the Deputy Minister, together with other senior members of the University Community, inspected an exhibition mounted by students of the Department.