Let’s develop our own education models – Prof Opoku-Agyemang

Kodjo Adams, GNA

Accra, July 19, GNA – Professor Jane Naana
Opoku-Agyemang, a former Minister of Education, has underlined the need for Ghana
to develop its own education models to respond to its peculiar situation.

She said the nation could not keep
experimenting and that even “if we must learn from others, let us look for the

“When we claim some model exists in another
country, let us find out what occasioned that model, how it is evaluated and how
the bottlenecks are removed, and what researchers are saying about that
option”, she added.

Prof Opoku-Agyemang made the call at the 7th
John Evans Atta Mills commemorative lecture held in Accra on the theme; “Inclusive
Education for Sustainable Development”.

It was organized by the Ghana Institute of
Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) in collaboration with the government
and the University of Cape Coast.

She cautioned that reforming the nation’s
education without serious evaluation of previous reforms would be wasteful, unproductive,
unresponsive and downright destructive.

“We need a long-term development plan
for the country. We need to find out how we have run the system in the past and
what has created the problems we now seek to rectify.”

Prof Opoku-Agyemang called for a paradigm
shift that embraced all people on the margins and created an environment that would
enable them to operate at a centre.

Education, she said, must point to the
future by addressing the real needs of the people – give them the confidence
and skills to build a prosperous country.

Education must create the environment that
allowed the mind to continuously develop new ways of dealing with existing and emerging
issues through critical thinking, creativity and innovation.

She noted that a Pan-African approach would
better aid the continent to make progress in the fight against poverty, achieve
economic transformation and industrialization.

The former Minister said the late President
Atta Mills objective for the country’s education was to ensure quality and
equity, founded on fairness and responsible citizenship.

She said under the watch of the late
President, there was an increase in textbook ratio from the national average of
one textbook for three children to four textbooks for each child, reduction of
teacher absenteeism and strengthening of the management of education.

These were all interventions towards quality
outcomes and making sure that no child was left behind.

Prof Philip Ebow Bondzi-Simpson, the Rector
of GIMPA, described former President Atta Mills as a statesman who contributed
immensely to the development of the country.

“Prof Atta Mills was a great person by
all standards” he added.