23.06.2004 Regional News

GES/QUIPS/USAID hold stakeholders forum

23.06.2004 LISTEN

Kumasi, June 23, GNA - About 1,789 teachers and circuit supervisors from 275 primary schools nationwide have benefited from six school based in-service trainings in teacher professional development by the Quality Improvement in Primary Schools (QUIPS) and Improving Learning through Partnership (ILP) project.

In addition, several instructional support materials that were being used by teachers have been produced, out of which six have been harmonised.

Mr Rashid Bawa, deputy Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, announced this at the Ghana Education Service (GES), United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Quality Improvement in Primary Schools (QUIPS) Best Practices Forum held in Kumasi on Wednesday.

About 200 stakeholders in education drawn from the Ashanti and Brong-Ahafo regions attended the one-day forum, the first in a series to be held throughout the country.

They included Regional and District Directors of Education and Parent-Teacher Associations (PTAs). The theme of the forum was "Sustaining QUIPS Best Practices: A Collaborative Approach Towards Improving Quality in Basic Education".

Mr Bawa said additional capacity building in the form of district based training programmes to improve upon school and district education management skills and practices have been provided through financial support in improving infrastructure for all the 275 schools under the technical and managerial supervision of QUIPS/ILP.

"Not only do we share in the joy of these laudable efforts, we also consider it as a challenge to those of us in the public sector to adopt some of these good practices towards the realisation of our common vision for providing quality education for the Ghanaian child".

Mr Bawa said education has proven to be a crucial factor in economic development of other nations, in poverty alleviation and in improving upon the quality of life of many people.

The experience of many developed nations has indicated that, rising investment in primary and secondary education in those countries have helped to lay the foundation for the export-oriented economic growth that followed, he pointed out.

Mr Bawa however, said that primary or basic education has been identified as the single major contributor to the phenomenal growth in those countries followed by capital investment.

Mr Bawa said he was therefore delighted and encouraged as the country pushed forward the Free compulsory Universal Basic Education (FCUBE) programme to provide universal basic education for the children of this country, "we would take advantage of the numerous opportunities offered by our well-wishers and partners like USAID to enable our school-aged children get the sort of education that would equip them with the requisite knowledge and skills to enable them face the challenges of today's world".

He therefore hoped that the forum would come up with some suggestions on how to sustain the QUIPS best practices, especially in the educational institutions.

Mr Kofi Britwum, Ashanti Regional Director of Education, said teachers professionalism had improved leading to an increased teacher attendance, use of teaching and learning materials, frequent class exercises and assignments and general confidence of staff and pupils.

The resultant effect of all these are the increase in enrolment, especially the girl-child and improvement in the quality, he added. The Regional Education Director therefore appealed to the participants to map out strategies that have emerged from the various interventions the programmes had churned out.

Mrs Elsie Menorkpor, a representative of USAID, said the programme had had positive impact on the country's education for the past seven years and called for its sustenance.

Miss Lydia Osei, Deputy Director-General of GES, called for a stronger collaboration between the District Directors of Education and the District Chief Executives to ensure improvement and development of education in the various districts. 23 June 04

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