Ghana: We will make the education system resilient to withstand the crisis – Ntimfordjour

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is organizing a two-day experience sharing workshop to provide a unique platform for stakeholders in the education sector.

The workshop which started yesterday aimed to assess and exchange ideas on how to sustain the gains made through the UNESCO-Global Partnership for Education (GPE) project in response to COVID-19 in the field of education in Anglophone West Africa.

It also aims to support five Anglophone West African countries, namely Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone and The Gambia, in their education sector response to COVID-19.

It was also a question of supporting them through the adaptation, scaling up and rapid deployment of a regional platform for distance and mixed education, the strengthening of regional cooperation and the pooling of resources for the development and diversification of educational resources while training the teachers and educational staff concerned.

The Deputy Minister of Education, Reverend John NtimFordjour, said the project comes on top of several other UNESCO projects being implemented in Ghana which are contributing immensely to the government’s efforts to mainstream information technology. and communication (ICT) in the education system at all levels.

According to Rev. Fordjour, Emergency Distance Learning (ERT) has equipped many teachers with basic skills in using online tools to facilitate teaching and learning more effectively and has also trained them with skills to enable them to facilitate distance teaching and learning.

He noted that more than 3,200 teachers have also been trained in the last three months by the National Center for Distance Learning and Open Learning (CENDLOS) on a regional platform known as “imaginelearning “.

“It is also gratifying to note that the UNESCO-GPE project builds on the partnerships and collaborative efforts already established with our national institutions, particularly CENDLOS, which is the institution mandated by the Government of Ghana to facilitate the integration of ICT in the education system at all levels,” he said.

The Deputy Minister said that the government was determined to make the education system highly resilient to withstand any unpredictable crisis in the future and assured of its commitment to work with UNESCO and other development partners to enable Ghana to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) four to ensure inclusive programs and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning.

The head of the UNESCO office in Ghana, Abdourahamane Diallo, said there were gaps in the education system that needed to be filled.

He said many teachers had not yet received support to acquire basic digital literacy, there was also poor quality assurance of content deployed by organizations, adding that many communities outside national capitals had very limited access to internet connectivity while the cost of data was high.

He said that learners with disabilities and children in poor/rural areas did not benefit equally, which he said could be attributed to insufficient ICT in education policies and legal environments.

“UNESCO is committed to addressing some of these gaps in Ghana through some interventions. UNESCO is supporting the government to review its policy on ICT in education and is developing an ICT competency framework for teachers,” said Diallo.