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Education Minister commends USAID Partnership for Education Learning Programme

General News

The Minister for Education, Matthew Opoku Prempeh, has described the United States Agency for International Development Partnership for Education: Learning programme as impressive and called for stronger partnership to enable Ghana achieve the President's vision of ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ agenda in the shortest possible time.

The Minister for Education, Matthew Opoku Prempeh, has described the United States Agency for International Development Partnership for Education: Learning programme as impressive and called for stronger partnership to enable Ghana achieve the President's vision of ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ agenda in the shortest possible time.

 

Matthew Opoku Prempeh made the call during a two day briefing meeting with the USAID Partnership for Education: Learning, to introduce the agency's programme to the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service leadership.

It was also aimed at identifying and discussing best practices that integrate the plans and priorities of the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service from March 9-10, 2018, at Peduase in the Eastern Region over the weekend.

The USAID Partnership for Education: Learning, is part of an integrated project designed to support the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service to improve reading performance in public schools in Ghana for an estimated 1.1 million pupils in KG2, P1 and P2.

Learning's Early Grade Reading programme uses a systematic phonics-based approach to reading in all 11 Ghana Education Service approved Ghanaian languages in schools and is being implemented in over 7,000 primary schools in 100 districts and all the 10 regions of Ghana.

The project builds the capacity of 1,250 trainers at the national and district levels to train over 30,000 teachers of KG2 -P2, including head teachers and curriculum leads in the use of Learning's teaching and learning materials.

However, over 800 circuit supervisors are also trained under the programme to conduct school visits to monitor implementation of the programme in all target schools.

Since its implementation in Ghana from 2015, the USAID Learning Programme has developed over 2 million teaching and learning materials in collaboration with the GES and National Curriculum and Assessment, printed and distributed in Ghana using "last mile strategy" that brings the materials directly to the schools.

The Minister, after apprising himself of the programme, which comprises reading and materials development, materials printing and distribution, training, e-Learning, Coaching and ongoing school support, implementation, accountability, monitoring and Dashboards as well as the Math Pilot, called for stronger and better partnership to actualize the President's vision of ‘Ghana Beyond Aid.’

The Education Minister stated that the ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ mantra is not intended at cutting partnership with donors but ensuring that we appropriate support from development partners effectively as a developing country.

In her response, the USAID Mission Director, Sharon Cromer, promised to continue to partner the government of Ghana in the area of education to actualize the President's vision of ‘Ghana Beyond Aid.’

The Chief of Party of Learning, Dr. Guitele Nicoleau, outlined all the achievements of learning since 2015 and called for stronger partnership with the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service to be able to improve reading at the early grade level in all the 7,278 schools in the 100 districts.

The reading and materials approach, for instance, is putting together Ghanaian language experts to help develop materials with the use of a primo-pro software to enhance quality and standards in the development of material for the 100 approved languages of instruction.

To facilitate effective implementation, accountability, monitoring and dashboards, the programme has trained 821circuit supervisors and has provided them with tablets to collect electronic data through their school visits and lesson observation, pupils assessment, teacher interview, head teacher interview and annual school information.

Again, the data collected is used to create an automatic dashboard with the system, using Microsoft Power BI platform. This allows programme implementers as well as GES and District Education Officers to monitor the performance of school, pupils, circuit supervisors from the national, regional, districts, circuit and at the school levels.

The Math Pilot activity, which is a composite part of the overall programme, is also operating in some selected districts as a new approach in the learning of mathematics which allows pupils to reason creatively.