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06.01.2007 General News

Not much progress in education after 50 years

By GNA
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An assessment of Ghana's educational system after 50 years of independence showed that not much progress had been made, Mr. Patrick Awuah, Founder and President of Ashesi University said on Friday.

Speaking under the theme 93Education in the Past 50 years; Matters of Concern" at the 58th Annual New Year School at the University of Ghana, he noted that in the area of quality education, the country had lost grounds.

"In the area of access to education as a percentage of school-age population, we have made some progress in primary enrolment, but are at a virtual standstill higher up in the educational ladder. In the area of quality we have lost grounds", he said.

He said Ghana had one of the best educational systems among the former European colonies in Africa but had its major disruption with the adoption of socialist policies shortly after independence.

Mr. Awuah said: 93We must make quality a primary directive. We must stop talking only about access and speak instead of access to quality" This shift in our language will provide a constant reminder to think about the substance of education."

He said ideally the government of Ghana would follow South Korea's example to subsidize private universities but noted that, if it cannot do that, then at least for the sake of maximising these institutions ability to expand, they should be allowed to retain any surplus earnings for reinvestment.

Mr Awuah said the country must also tackle the challenges confronting education by learning from successful models around the World and move to actively develop a vibrant ecosystem of public and private schools.

He said there must also be a change in teaching methodology from rote learning to a model that fostered conceptual and procedural understanding.

Ms Eunice Dapaah, Senior Education Specialist of the World Bank said there was the need to formulate clear educational policies and actively implement them to achieve results.

She said additional data must be generated to monitor results and that educational managers should ensure that they carried out their duties efficiently since they would be held responsible if the country did not achieve the needed results.

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