Former Education Minister and Chancellor of the Women’s University in Africa, Professor Naana Jane Opoku Agyeman has urged successive governments to take measures to make Ghana’s educational system inclusive and diversified. According to her, such interventions will help to build a strong foundation for educating citizens, which will essentially contribute to sustainable growth and development.
Delivering the keynote address at the 7th John Evans Atta Mills Commemorative Lecture at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) in Accra, Professor Opoku-Agyemang underscored the need for policies and reforms on education to be well-planned, scientifically evaluated and fine-tuned to meet the real needs of the country’s educational system. She was speaking on the theme, ”Inclusive Education for Sustainable Development.”
Professor Opoku-Agyemang further bemoaned the fact that reforms on education in Ghana are often left at the mercy of political parties where educational policies and reforms easily change when power changes hands. She revealed that since the Guggisberg era, Ghana has had thirteen different reforms on education, adding that educational reforms in the country are often not well-planned and thought through. She emphasized the need for governments to be prudent and develop a well-thought-out plan on education and take the right steps to implement them.
The Former Education Minister also encouraged African countries to develop a pan-African approach to education, where African countries put in the effort to provide a unified platform to help promote education on the continent. According to her, such an approach will help African leaders to work towards attaining the Sustainable Development Goals, especially on education in order to develop the continent’s human resource.
Professor Opoku-Agyemang emphasized the fact that education is the best inheritance that every nation can bequeath to its youth thus should be treated in a holistic manner to promote all forms of education and allowing flexibility to adaptation.
She highlighted key interventions that her ministry implemented under the John Mahama led administration to promote inclusive education and leave no one behind.
Some of the significant subjects she raised include the need to inculcate local languages in teaching and learning, invest in Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET), promote a long term development plan and take key measures to create an environment which makes education easily accessible and tailored to the future that the country desires.
She described Former President John Evans Atta Mills as a peace-loving man who believed in the attainment of peace through education. She said she shared in his belief of embracing those at the margins to ensure inclusiveness in education.
Other important dignitaries present included Former President John Dramani Mahama, Professor Joshua Alabi, and some leading politicians and educationists.