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Be more responsible than just playing roles – Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh

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The Government has plans to establish a technical and vocation education service to focus on that sub sector and to remove the stigma associated with it aimed at promoting technical and vocational education.

He said a specialized agency was needed to develop standards, curriculum and regulate technical and vocational education to bring about uniformity and recognition for technical and vocational certificates.

Similarly, all technical and vocational institutions in the country will `be streamlined, retooled and given all the necessary support to make them the number one choice of Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) candidates desirous of gaining admission into senior high schools, in the next five years.

The hint was dropped by the Minister for Education, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, in his second meeting with key officers of the GES including members of the Association of Principals of Technical Institutions, Conference of Managers of Educational Units (COMEU), Internal Auditors and West African Examinations Council (WAEC) examination coordinators within a month in Kumasi yesterday.

Earlier from in May, 2017, he met with Regional and District Directors of Education, domestic bursars, matrons, accountants, IPPD officers, supply officers and storekeepers to discuss how efficiently the 2017 budget estimates can be implemented, and other issues relating to improving quality, access, equity and collaboration to ensure the efficient implementation of the free senior high school policy in September this year.

The meeting provided the forum to adequately inform the Principals of the plan and programmes for the sector and collate their views and ideas to improve technical and vocational education and training.

Dr. Opoku Prempeh noted that the nation’s industrialization agenda could not be achieved without skilled middle level manpower and that was the why government would go every length to make technical and vocational education attractive to students.

According to him, a delegation had already visited Germany to study its technical education concept and the experiences learnt to be replicated in the technical and vocational schools in the country.

He disclosed that government was working to secure funding to rehabilitate and equip the technical universities and institutes.

Teachers

The minister said that only teachers educated and trained in technical and vocational subject areas would be posted to teach in technical and vocational institutions whilst teachers with technical and vocational education and training background would be allowed to head those institutions.

Curriculum/syllabus

Dr. Opoku Prempeh told them that, as heads of technical and vocational institutes, they develop a curriculum and syllabi, with support from the ministry and the approval of the GES for use in their schools.

The Minister for Education, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, has called on Managers of Religious Educational Units in the country to be more responsible than just the roles they play.

He said that playing their roles as managers also expects them to be accountable to their employer, the Ghana Education Service (GES).

According to him, if religions education units want to manage their schools, thet should as well be ready to be responsible and accountable.

“Managing your schools does not mean charging and collecting fees not approved for profit,” he noted.

Dr. Opoku Prempeh called on mission schools to be mindful of the religious backgrounds of students during admissions to ensure fairness as well as to avoid conflict.

The minister reiterated his call on all heads of SHS s to declare the number of vacancies in their schools to ensure that placement of students those not create congestion in schools.

He assured the managers that the issue pertaining to the conflict between their roles and responsivities and that of the regional and district directors of education even though appointment letters indicate them, would be looked at.

 He also indicated that the issue of indiscipline among mission schools teachers who claim their appointment letters were not sign by the managers, would be investigated and resolved.

According to him, the issue of indiscipline among teachers, could also be resolved if managers are able to redefine their roles.

French language

The minister assured the regious education unit heads that ministry was in contact with the French Embassy in Accra to assist in the training of more Teachers of the French language to be posted to as many schools as possible.

He disclosed that about 16,000 vacancies exists for French teachers in basic schools alone but the issue is about financial clearance to employ and pay them their monthly salaries.

Free SHS

Dr. Opoku Prempeh said only candidates who sat for this year’s Basic Education Certificate Examinations (BECE), and met the require entry requirements of the school of choice would be admitted to benefit from the free SHS policy with effect from September this year.

He said apart from absorbing all approved fees, government was going to provide all the required teaching and learning materials.

Returning mission schools to churches

Touching on the issue of returning mission schools to their mother churches, he said they always say “give us our schools” and not calling for partnership. He therefore called on the churches to think through the issues and tell government what exactly they wanted.

30% vacancies in elite SHSs reserved for public school candidates

Dr. Opoku Prempeh reiterated government’s decision to reserve 30% vacancies in elite SHSs for candidates from basic schools who meet the pass mark.


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