Education sector was ineffective when we took office – Opoku Prempeh

Minister of Education Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh

The Minister of Education, Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh, has revealed that the education sector was on the verge of collapse when NPP government took office in 2017.

Teacher absenteeism, according to him, was hovering around 30 per cent resulting in 45 per cent of SHS candidates failing in Mathematics.

Only 2 per cent pupils in Primary Two were found proficient in reading per the Early Grade Assessment Test whilst 25 per cent pupils in Primary Six were proficient in English.

Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh disclosed this on Tuesday, December 3, 2019 while speaking at Innovation Africa 2019: Africa’s Official Ministerial Summit.

“When the government of H.E Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo took over office on January 7, 2017, the landscape of the education sector really looked bleak,” he said.

“There was a huge outstanding unpaid teacher salary allowance, huge debt for Capitation Grant, no supply of text books, no supply of school uniforms for years whilst no government teacher was recruited for four years.”

Touching on what has been done so far to augment quality education, he said the government introduced the Teacher First Policy, which sought to transform the educational landscape for teachers by revising curriculum for teacher training and introduced a four-year Bachelor of Education curriculum for pre-service training replacing the Diploma in Education.

Introduction of the Free Senior High School (SHS) Policy, he said, is a major step taken by government in providing free but quality education and parents henceforth have no excuse in stopping their children from going to school.

The Free SHS, according to him, has improved the transition rate of students from Junior High Schools to Senior High School from 67 per cent in 2016 to 88 per cent in 2018.

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To accommodate these overwhelming number of extra students, government had had to embark on the largest infrastructural developments in schools, he added.

“These and more are the significant progress in a drive to push education and skills training in making Ghana a successful industrialized, confident nation.”

Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh thus hinted government is currently reviewing the curriculum for the SHSs.

By Maxwell Otoo||Ghana