The Akufo-Addo-led New Patriotic Party government is poised to do more in the education sector, even though what it has achieved in the past four years is unprecedented, the Minister of Education Yaw Osei Adutwum, has stated.
According to Dr Osei Adutwum, who addressed a press conference yesterday, the NPP administration is committed to repositioning the education sector in line with modern approaches to teaching and learning. He detailed three key interventions for the sector.
According to him, part of government’s agenda to reposition the sector is the integration of a curriculum-based interdisciplinary and integrated approach to teaching and learning based on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). He added that this will start with the creation of 10 STEM Senior High Schools by next year.
He said the purpose of the introduction of STEM is based on the fact that STEM graduates are driving the socio-economic development of the world, and for that matter countries that are seriously pursuing STEM are likely to develop faster.
“A robust STEM education creates critical thinkers, problem solvers who will constitute the next generation innovators to lead in new product and process development for sustained economic growth,” he said.
He added: “Through STEM, students acquire the seven essential skills outlined in the STEM Education Framework, in accordance with Global STEM Academy, 2020, which are: critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, communication, collaboration, data literacy, digital literacy and computer science.”
Throwing more light on the programme, Dr Adutwum said the new STEM SHS institutions are located at Abomosu in the Eastern Region; Kpasenkpe in the North East Region; Kwadaso and Dabaa, both in the Ashanti Region; Akrodie in the Ahafo Region; Awaso in the Western Region; Weija in the Greater Accra Region; Koase in the Bono Region; Diaso in the Central Region; and Deduako in the Ashanti Region.
He said the programme will establish academies to provide critical thinking and analytical skills for workforce development and global presence in Environmental Science, Aeronautics, Aerospace and Aviation; Engineering and Computer Science; Manufacturing, Agriculture; Biomedical Sciences, Global Studies and Creative Arts to ensure the attainment of the 60:40 ratio in science and humanities
National standard test
He further disclosed that government would also introduce a National Pre-tertiary Learning Assessment Framework (NPLAF) based on a National Standards Test (NST) to assess curriculum standards, including the 4Rs (Reading, Writing, Respect and Resolution), knowledge, skills, values and attitudes that are central to the new pre-tertiary education curriculum.
The NST, he said, is in line with the Ghana Education Strategic Plan 2018-2030, which prioritizes improving learning outcomes at all levels by creating a national standards-based assessment at the pre-tertiary level to measure the quality of learning achievement before the end of Junior High School (JHS).
According to him, the NST will be rolled out nationally in November this year to generate evidence on student achievement against set national competency standards in literacy and numeracy.
Dr Adutwum said this would allow quality in the delivery of education, and would help achieve 65 per cent proficiency rate in literacy and numeracy among children who go through Ghana’s primary school system.
Dr Adutwum also disclosed that government is set to introduce an Open University module as an innovative measure in increasing the country’s student intake at the tertiary level.
He said this would ensure that the critical mass of students from the SHS are enrolled into the various tertiary institutions in the country.
“Currently, Ghana’s Gross Tertiary Enrolment Ratio stands at 18.8%. Whiles this may be one of the highest across Africa, it remains considerably low and we must introduce measures to consciously push the ratio higher.
“Our target is to increase the ratio from the current 18.8% to 40% in the next 4 years with emphasis on engineering and other STEM related fields,” he said.