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IT’S A GOOD TIME TO STUDY, SAYS NAPO: 59,000 TEACHERS EMPLOYED UNDER NPP

General News

For the first time in a decade, all students in senior high school have been supplied with all the core textbooks to enhance their studies, the Minister of Education, Matthew Opoku Prempeh, has announced.

For the first time in a decade, all students in senior high school have been supplied with all the core textbooks to enhance their studies, the Minister of Education, Matthew Opoku Prempeh, has announced.

The introduction of the Free Senior High School policy, which has resulted in an increase in student enrolment by roughly 31 per cent, makes the era of President Akufo-Addo the best time to study in Ghana, the Minister said.

“For the first time in ten years, under President Akufo-Addo, we have said this and nobody has been able to dispute it: every child in every secondary school has been supplied with all the core textbooks. It has never happened before,” the Education Minister said on Monday as he joined President Akufo-Addo at a meeting with Ghanaians resident in Paris, a highlight of the President’s official visit to France.

More than textbooks

Dr Opoku Prempeh said apart from supplying students with textbooks, the government has supplied them with books for revising mathematics. They are also to receive supplies of past West African Examinations Council exam questions from 1993, complete with answers.

“[Shortages of school infrastructure] did not prevent Kwame Nkrumah from starting bursaries for the Northern schools,” the Minister said. “Not having enough classrooms will never stop us from having Free SHS.
“In fact, Ghanaians have voted, and enrolment increased by 31 per cent in 2017 and 2018.”

Addressing challenges associated with the introduction of the double-track enrolment system, the Education Minister said 8,000 teachers have been employed specifically to cover staffing shortages.

Dr Opoku Prempeh also revealed that under the present government 59,000 teachers have been employed since 2017.

“We did the timetables that we needed and the President ordered the Finance Minister to provide financial clearance, and we did it. It includes the 59,000 teachers we have employed between now and then.
“It is not very true what you hear when you listen to the social media always,” he told the Ghanaian audience in Paris. “Sometimes your judgement becomes clouded [from] the truth.”

Goodbye to diploma’ed teachers

With the introduction of the four-year Bachelor of Education (BEd) degree in Ghana’s university colleges in 2018, the Minister said: “There is no teacher going to be a diploma teacher. Everyone who is coming out will get a degree.”

The conversion of colleges of education into university colleges by the Akufo-Addo government, the Minister stressed, has resulted in record numbers of students seeking admission.

“When they were diploma students, they spent an inordinate amount of time doing top-ups in other schools and not concentrating in the classroom. Now, it is not a second-rate school to go to because they couldn’t get into the university. It is a choice that they have decided to make as teachers,” he said.

The Minister lamented the failure to train teachers in the junior high school curriculum and pedagogy for four decades. The last resource pack given to teachers was compiled in the 1950s.

“We have done it [training teachers in the new curriculum] this year,” Dr Opoku Prempeh said.
“Things will get better. Education is such that we have to put in a huge investment before you can reap the fruit. It is not like taking your child to the hospital. That is instant.

“It takes time and we need patience from Ghanaians. Ghana’s education has never been as good as it is now, and it will get better,” he said.