Ghana: Ministry of Education launches education leadership development program for headteachers and staff

The Ministry of Education will pilot its new Education Leadership Development Program (ELDP) in January next year, after cabinet approval, Education Minister Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum has announced.

A successful pilot project would pave the way for rolling out the program across the country with the establishment of a new National Institute of Education (INE) to provide long-term, tailored leadership training to agency heads and staff. under the ministry.

Once established, the new institute would, among other things, serve as a permanent institution dedicated to instructional leadership training for the ministry and offer long-term, tailored leadership programs with certification for current and future school leaders, heads and ministry agency staff.

Speaking at a two-day NEI stakeholder consultation summit in Accra over the weekend, Dr Adutwum said the country’s education system was facing a “learning challenge” which poses a risk to economic growth and the well-being of citizens.

He noted that due to the “learning challenge”, many young people lack the skills to thrive, even though they represent the future of the country.

“Fifty-three percent of 10-year-olds in the country lack basic literacy skills, and while a child in Ghana can expect to go to school for 12 years, he or she only leaves ‘with six years of apprenticeship,’ he explained.

Dr Adutwum said the learning challenge could largely be attributed to poor leadership and management, ineffective supervision, lack of accountability and inadequate teacher training.

He noted that many headteachers in the country had no professional preparation for their managerial roles beyond their years of classroom teaching experience.

However, he said the ministry under his leadership is keen to strengthen school leadership to drive the reform and learning agenda, as well as strengthen the education system to deliver 21st century skills to learners.

“The Ministry’s Education Strategic Plan 2018-2030 sets out its ambitions to improve the quality of school leadership,” he said.

He explained that the ministry intends to reform the quality and pathways to school leadership by basing the pathways to becoming a headteacher on years of service, to enable early career teachers who demonstrate quality teaching and leadership talents to become school leaders sooner.

“The intention is that these reforms will improve the quality of school management, teaching and learning, allow other curriculum, teaching and assessment reforms to be integrated more quickly into the school system and improve the efficiency of the ELDP,” he said.

On his part, the Executive Director of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) Ghana, Dr. Charles Yeboah explained that the proposed NEI would help retain quality headteachers in the school system during a longer period, emphasizing that “trained school leaders be used as master trainers to support the professional development of other teachers towards school leadership.

He said the new institute would target about 70,000 school leaders and be established in collaboration with reputable education and training institutions with good track records.