The National Schools Inspectorate Authority’s (NaSIA) digitization approach has significantly streamlined data collection processes for operational efficiency, says Dr. Haggar Hilda Ampadu, the Executive Director of the Authority.
“As a result of the digitization, data to support policy decisions is collected at the school level and received in real-time by headquarters in Accra for reporting and analysis.
The approach better ensures that each inspection report is based on objective evidence, and as well limits subjectivity and opportunities for bias”, she said.
This was in a statement copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra to commemorate this year’s International Women’s which falls on March 8, supported by the Innovations for Poverty Action.
She said the Authority’s adopting a statistical sampling approach for selecting schools for inspection, had increased the number of schools inspected from about 50 to 2,341 per academic year and have focused on reducing manual and human efforts in their operations.
“For instance, school registration and payment processes at the Authority are now automated and done online, which allows us to more efficiently track these processes and assess support for schools regardless of their location in the country”.
Mrs Ampadu said the Authority had worked to develop the School Establishment and Inspection Policy, the School Licensing Policy, Safeguarding Policy, and School-Based Assessment Policy with financial support from the UNESCO-Ghana office and the Education Partnership Group-UK, started in June 2020.
She announced that the policies were near completion and had gone through various technical working group meetings and stakeholder reviews awaiting approval, stressing that each policy was accompanied by specific guidelines to aid its implementation and operationalization.
The Executive Director assured to continually identify areas that can be improved for better organizational capacity and effectiveness, in the wake of the Authority’s series of ad-hoc processes for inspections and audits to assess the quality of education for learners.
Touching on COVID-19 pandemic on the Authority’s operational duties, she said the pandemic had seriously affected school inspections and had to conduct virtual school inspections due to the need for the continuation of teaching and learning.
“In partnership with the UNICEF-Ghana office, we developed and published the National E-learning Standards and accompanying guidelines for pre-tertiary schools in April 2020 in response to COVID-19 and school closures. This has been a key resource for schools nationwide over the course of the pandemic”.
She stated that the NaSIA in partnership with the UNICEF-Ghana office, had developed kindergarten inspection tools that would be deployed in the next inspection term during the 2021 academic year.
She said she was motivated to go into the public sector after working across 36 African countries to develop health systems, was to create and institutionalized policies and processes within the Authority for schools to be fully aware of its mandate, processes, and requirements, per the Education Regulatory Bodies Act, 2020 (Act 1023) and operate their schools within the remit of the law.
“We also want our stakeholders and the general public to know that we operate in a spirit of transparency. For instance, our School Inspection Reports, a list of registered schools, and aspects of the new law, among others, are published on our website (www.nasia.gov.gh) for ease of verification”.
The NaSIA, an agency under the Ministry of Education, is an Independent Regulator of all Pre-Tertiary Educational Institutions (PTEIs) in Ghana.
Under the Education Regulatory Bodies Act 2020 (Act 1023), NaSIA is mandated to register, license and inspect both public and private PTEIs in Ghana.
The Authority also provides an independent external evaluation of the quality and standards in PTEIs in the country on a periodic basis.