Ghana’s Education Ministry following the numerous achievements of NAPO, the immediate-past Minister of Education has described him as someone without any background as educationist but made history at the Ministry.
Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh in January 2017 when the newly sworn-in President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, named his first set of ministers was appointed as the country’s Minister of Education.
He was that person who many, hitherto his ministerial appointment, wondered why an accomplished Medical Doctor many tipped right for the Ministry of Health was rather put in charge of Ministry of Education.
According to the Education Ministry, among other numerous achievements of NAPO since he resumed office in 2017 are;
1. Colleges of Education now run 4-Year Bachelor of Education programmes.
2. Teacher trainees will now graduate with Bachelor’s degrees, and will not need to take study leave to go back to acquire the degree.
3. The national audit of skills has been completed by the Council for Technical and Vocational Education Training (COTVET).
4. E-Learning portal developed (www.icampusgh.com) and includes all SHS 1-3 core subjects. The website is live.
5. Teacher recruitment since 2017 is now done at regional levels
6. Documentation is done at District and Regional levels.
7. Restore Teacher Allowances
8. Restored allowances were also paid to Arabic/Islamic instructors under the national volunteer service programme.
9. Restore book and research allowances for lecturers were catered for. They have not only been restored, they have been increased by 200%.
10. The regime also introduced History of Ghana as a subject for primary schools in the Curriculum which has been approved by Cabinet. Over 180 Master Trainers, 3,900 District level Trainers, and 152,000 teachers have been trained for this purpose.
11. In other achievements it Integrate school sports as part of school activities: Free PE kits are being provided to students under the Free SHS programme.
12. It also abolished the payment of utility bills by students; and the Tertiary Education Policy also abolished the payment of utility bills in tertiary Institutions.
13. The era also redefined basic education from Kindergarten to include SHS, covering vocational, agricultural and technical schools.
14. Government also absorbed BECE examination fees in 2018: WASSCE examination fees absorbed in 2020.
15. The student loan amount has been increased by 50% and ranges between GHc1, 500 and GHc3, 000.
16. Construction of 163 Kindergartens awarded out of which 77 have been completed to date.
17. Manuals were prepared for basic schools and 80% of SHSs have coordinators. Same is planned for all school.
18. Faith-Based Organisations (FBOs) were also engaged and MoU drafted and was under review.
19. Previously, teachers who upgraded their qualifications and skills were not recognised and promoted on time; a divorce from hitherto several years of bureaucratic delays.
Due to new reforms, now:
• The waiting period before promotion of teachers who upgrade their qualifications and skills is now halved to 2 years. Waiting period for all others is 4 Years.
• For the first time in history, teachers are being paid a professional teachers allowance.
- TVET Qualification Framework developed.
- 80 institutions accredited to run Competency Based Training (CBT) programmes.
- Engaging Technical Universities to run CBTs.
- To support TVET education, we are building 32 state-of-the-art TVET centres, and
- A Basic STEM (B-STEM) programme to provide science labs in all basic schools to enhance the teaching of STEM subjects from an early age has been rolled out.
ICT is now compulsory in all Teacher Training Colleges.
- To date 313,250 basic school students have been introduced to basic coding
- Coding introduced at 25 SHSs and equipment supplies in progress
- A US$1.5B loan, of which US$500M has been disbursed, has been secured on the back of GETFund to develop educational infrastructure. Massive infrastructure development across educational institutions currently ongoing
- Completion of the construction and commissioning of Phase I of the Somanya campus of the University of Environment and Sustainable Development (UESD). Funding for Phase II of the campus has been secure and work commenced.
- School management committees to be trained in effective school management
- School heads trained in instructional leadership and accountability
- Circuit Supervisors will become School Improvement Officers, and
- 10,000 schools have been selected for the first phase.
NAPO was adjudged the best Minister by the Akufo-Addo government, through monitoring and evaluation scheme put together by the Ministry of Monitoring and Evaluation headed by Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei.