The Ministry of Education (MoE) has been urged to create the necessary platforms that would encourage NGOs and private individuals to provide virtual learning to students in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Professor Dominic Danso Mensah, Director, Institute of Teacher Education and Continuing Professional Development at the University of Education Winneba (UEW) who made the call, said efforts of these stakeholders were critical in providing access to quality education to all in the COVID-19 period.
He was speaking at the launch of a Radio Learning programme introduced by Festive Kids International Foundation (FKIF), a humanitarian Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) for Junior High School (JHS) students on Thursday.
The launch, which was on the theme, “Making quality education accessible to all through the airwaves: the rural community our focus” brought together renowned educationists, traditional and community leaders.
The radio learning programme is a GBC collaboration to be aired on Radio Central in the Cape Coast Metropolis, but with a wider coverage within the whole of Central Region and beyond.
Prof Mensah noted that the challenge in internet connectivity coupled with the inability of rural parents to afford virtual learning programmes was a constraint that inhibited inclusive education and access in the face of the current COVID-19 crisis.
He said providing radio learning programme would significantly extend access to children in rural communities who were not hooked to other ongoing educational programmes on online platforms after the disruption of the academic calendar caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said the programmes would go a long way to compliment government’s efforts of promoting access to quality education and act as a backbone to quality education and assist the country in achieving the SDGs goal four.
He applauded the FKIF for the initiative and called on all who were concerned about inclusive education and the well-being of children to extend a hand of support to enable them extend their services to other regions and other levels of education in the country.
Mr Kwamena Duncan, Central Regional Minister in a speech read on his behalf by Mr Bless Kwame Darkey, Chief Budget Analyst at the Regional Coordinating Council, enumerated the efforts of the Council to improve education in the Region.
He said drastic measures taken in collaboration with the MMDCEs and the education directorates since 2017, was yielding positive results as more JHS pupils in public schools were gaining admission into the first class SHS in the Region.
He said the RCC would give the programme the necessary attention and support to ensure that its dream of having pupils in basic schools get quality education became fruitful.
He admonished MMDCEs, Assembly members and traditional authorities to assist the new innovation and bring more children on board to benefit from the programme.
For his part, Engineer Augustus Yamson, Deputy Director General of GBC, said GBC in the period of COVID-19, had instituted a number of programmes that were impacting positively on society especially rural communities.