Mr John Ntim Fordjour, the Deputy Minister of Education, says the educational system in Ghana ought to be redesigned and restructured to align and respond appropriately to current industrial revolution for sustainable economic transformation.
He said Ghana needed to make a paradigm shift from the traditional form of education and adopt a more robust and digitalized system that would help produce human resources with critical thinking mindsets capable of marching the full dictates of the fourth industrial revolution and the problems of contemporary society.
“Education is no longer just about the traditional education system where teaching and learning are carried out in a particular rigid way, but one that teaches skills required for today and future, the skills that ensure that people meaningfully contribute to nation building and transformation,” he said.
Mr Fordjour was speaking in Bolgatanga, Upper East Region, at the 59th Annual Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS), held on the theme, “Discipline and child rights in our Senior High Schools: the fate of the school head”.
The Deputy Minister said research had shown that if nothing was done to change the current educational system by the year 2030, about 825 million young people may obtain some level of education but the skills acquired may be irrelevant to enable drive and impact economic growth and development.
He said the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic had further cemented the need for Ghana and many developing countries to embrace and invest in digitisation and its related resources as that would enable the country to compete effectively with other countries in the educational sector.
“We have come to a point where we must reimagine our educational system if we have tried many methods in the past to attain certain outcomes and have kept repeatedly attaining the same outcomes, we have collectively reimagined how we approach our educational system,” he noted.
Mr Fordjour said the Junior High School level had been identified as the weakest link in the educational sector in Ghana, as many students who were admitted into the second cycle institutions had challenges in literacy, reading and writing and mathematics.
In this regard, he said, government through the Ministry of Education had begun serious reforms to realign the country’s educational system to focus more on equipping the students with knowledge of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), which were key to the country’s transformation agenda.
He said the reformed policies would further identify young people with talents in various communities who would be supported with State-of-art facilities and enabling environment and be enrolled into STEM schools that would enable them harness their potentials to turn the fortunes of the country.
“No country can develop without significant alignment to STEM. For instance, Vietnam produces 100,000 engineers a year, Singapore produces similar numbers a year, but all these countries that have gone far ahead of Ghana in terms of the number of engineers produced a year, with Ghana training around 6,000 averagely a year, have conceded that indeed they even need to step up and reposition their STEM educational system in order to meet the target set for their economic development,” he added.
The Deputy Minister therefore encouraged stakeholders in the educational sector to provide input to ensure that the educational system was repositioned to produce critical minds for the transformation of the country.