The Education Minister, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, has identified poor leadership and management, inefficient supervision, lack of accountability and inadequate teacher training as contributing factors to poor learning outcomes experienced in schools in the country.
This, he said was because many school leaders have not undergone professional training for their roles (beyond their years’ experience teaching in the classroom), which impacts children’s learning outcomes.
Dr Adutwum announced this in his address at the Association of Supervisors and Curriculum Development (ASCD) stakeholders’ summit on the Education Leadership Development programme held in Accra on Friday.
The two-day summit is geared towards sharing ideas and coming out with plans and strategies for the piloting and rolling out of the National Education Institute (NEI) for the training of people in the education leadership arena.
The summit brought together various stakeholders in the education sector such as the Ministry of Education, Association of Supervisors and Curriculum Development (ASCD) with a potential partnership with the Institute for Education Planning and Administration (IEPA) from University of Cape Coast and Cambridge Global Partnership for Education among others.
Dr Adutwum indicated that the Ministry planned to set up the NEI as a permanent institution dedicated to educating educational leadership training to offer long-term, tailor-made leadership programmes with certification for current and aspiring school heads, heads and staff of agencies of the Ministry of Education.
He said “the establishment of the NEI which has received cabinet approval and would be rolling out in February 2023 is being set up by the Education Ministry in collaboration with reputable education institutions with a good track record. It is being established with support from Jacobs Foundation and Big Win Philanthropy for strategy and on NEI training programmes and materials to be developed and piloted nationwide”.
Dr Adutwum who is also the Member of Parliament for Bosomtwe indicated that the Ministry was keen on strengthening school leadership to drive the agenda for reforms and learning, strengthen the education system and improve 21st-century skills for learners.
A Senior Advisor to Ghana ASCD, Dr Jill Harrison Berg, lauded Dr Adutwum for initiating the establishment of the NEI for the country so it could empower stakeholders in the nation’s education space.
She urged all stakeholders in the country to contribute to the rollout of the NEI which stood the chance of turning things around for the nation’s education outcomes since the training would retool the leaders to be more productive toward the transformation of the nation’s economy through education.
Dr Jill Harrison Berg who is also an education consultant described the NEI establishment as very important and ambitious which could create an opportunity for students to attain their expected goals as well as receive many benefits from their education in the country for their well-being and the benefit of the country.
The Executive Director of ASCD Ghana, Dr Charles Yeboah, said the establishment of the NEI was a magic wand that could fast-track improving learning outcomes at all levels of education in the country.
He stated that currently, a total of 70,000 educational leaders were being targeted to be trained over time but hinted that the piloting would involve 300 educational leaders from three regions yet to be selected to be used.
The Executive Director said it was hoped that 25 per cent of 70,000 would have been trained by 2025 as it draws from the general mix of education professionals, existing school leaders, aspiring school leaders, agency heads, regional, and district directors of education to benefit from the training.
After observing the state of the nation’s education system for a couple of years, Dr Yaw Adutwum, who was then the Deputy Minister for Education in the previous Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s first term of office proposed the establishment of the NEI to the government to help sharpen the leadership and management skills of people in leadership positions in the education sector.
This led to the Education Ministry submitting a memo to the cabinet and it was after the cabinet had approved the establishment of the NEI that the summit was held to engage experts from diverse backgrounds in the education space to come out with ideas and prudent strategies to guide the smooth piloting of the NEI across the country.