General News of Thursday, 26 January 2017
Napo exchanging pleasantries with the Apagyahene and other dignitaries who followed him to the parliament
Minister-designate for Education, Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh, popularly called Napo, has assured that he would not breach the law by single-handedly closing down educational institutions that do not meet the criteria of the National Accreditation Board (NAB).
Napo stated categorically that he would allow the relevant bodies in the educational sector to carry out their duties without any interference from him, when he is duly approved as Minister for Education by parliament.
“I will make sure that the regulatory bodies in the education sector do their work without any interference. I will not be a minister who runs to close down schools, which don’t meet accreditation board criteria,” he promised.
According to him, he would provide effective, visionary, productive and transparent leadership as a minister, whereby the views and suggestions of all and sundry aimed at transforming the educational sector would be welcomed.
Napo, who is the New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP for Manhyia South in Kumasi, gave the assurance when he appeared before the Appointments Committee of Parliament for vetting yesterday.
Prominent chiefs in Kumasi, including Oheneba Owusu Afriyie IV, Otumfuo’s Apagyahene; Baffuor Yaw Boateng, Dominasehene; Ing. Nana Poku Agyeman, Urban Roads Director for Kumasi and Richard Ofori Atta, aka ‘Tomtom,’ among others, were there to support him.
The MP, who was composed and relaxed and did justice to the barrage of questions posed to him, stated that he would work tirelessly to bring innovations to help boost the educational sector so that Ghana could produce the best human resource for development.
According to him, a special attention would be given to the basic level of education, stressing that any attempt to uplift the education sector would be in vain if the basic level – which is the foundation – was not well constructed and positioned.
Napo maintained that the poverty canker in Ghana can best be uprooted or controlled through education, stressing that everything must be done to help make education flourish in the country once again – as it used to be in the past.
He noted that the NPP administration would fulfill its promise of making education, especially at the basic level, free and accessible, through to the top, adding that ICT would be extended to as many schools as possible to enhance learning.
According to him, President Nana Akufo-Addo’s government would also fulfill its promise of restoring the teacher trainee allowance in order to make life comfortable for them, whilst they are still in school.
The Minister-designate also stressed the need for the colleges of education to start offering courses in vocational and technical skills so that teachers could impart in children skills at the basic level, adding that community libraries would be built across the country to engage the kids in reading after school hours.
He announced that the learning of Ghana’s history would be isolated from Social Studies and be made a proper subject on its own so that children would better understand the country’s history and become patriotic and responsible citizens as they grow up.
According to him, the education sector should be reformed and properly structured so that students who would be produced could function at any place or position that they might find themselves without problems.
School Feeding Programme
Napo was not happy about situations whereby the school feeding programme is politicised without attention being given to nutrition and the health of the children, noting that contracts with providers of the programme would be respected because the NPP government respects the law.
Mr Mathew Opoku Prempeh said some of the E-Block projects, started by the NDC administration, would be turned into vocational and technical institutions where appropriate, adding that boarding houses would be attached to some of them to enable the students benefit fully.