Interview: Yaw Osei Adutwum

What are the key reforms being implemented to transform learning outcomes in Ghana?

YAW OSEI ADUTWUM: Ghana’s education sector is undergoing a transformation to align with global standards and foster economic growth. These changes are anticipated to improve learning outcomes – particularly at the pre-tertiary levels – and support the objectives of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Better learning outcomes, increased accountability and equity at all levels are the core goals of the reforms. These improvements are anticipated to help enhance education standards through creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and communication, all of which will be crucial for preparing future generations.

These efforts are expected to create a trained workforce. To achieve this, the government is investing in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, building specialised schools and developing innovative curricula. Ghana has earmarked $2.1bn in annual funding for the education sector through to 2026 to help create a conducive learning environment.

To what extent are STEM, and technical and vocational education and training (TVET) critical to accelerating socio-economic development?

ADUTWUM: STEM and TVET are the cornerstones of Ghana’s socio-economic development. These are not merely academic subjects, but catalysts for innovation, supporting the country’s economic growth and global competitiveness. STEM education is a national priority, evident in the establishment of dedicated STEM schools that give students practical experience with robotics, aerospace and new technologies.

The progress of a developing country like Ghana will hinge on the proficiency of its workforce in STEM fields. As such, investment in infrastructure, as well as a focus on improving STEM and TVET education, will be instrumental in creating a workforce equipped for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.

How does technology improve the learning environment for teachers and students?

ADUTWUM: The government is pioneering smart classrooms in certain primary and junior high schools. This integration aligns with Ghana’s STEM programme, fostering a culture of innovation. It is envisioned that students will not only learn to use technology, but also actively contemplate ways to pursue innovations, moving Ghana to the forefront of technological advancement. The government is pursuing pragmatic ways of merging education and industry, ensuring that students lead the country’s socio-economic transformation.

In what ways is the government stimulating private investment across the education spectrum?

ADUTWUM: The Ghanaian government has actively encouraged the participation of the private sector in education initiatives, considering it is a symbiotic relationship. The aim is a collaborative effort in which private institutions complement government initiatives, collectively contributing to the delivery of equitable and quality education for Ghanaians. The government’s policy of liberalising tertiary education has led to a significant increase in the number of private universities.

Which infrastructure projects is the government prioritising to improve access to education?

ADUTWUM: There is ongoing investment in technology infrastructure, and funds have been earmarked to enhance the teaching and learning environment. The ICT in Education Reform is in line with the Education Strategic Plan (2018-30) and SDGs. This reform aims to help children become more interested in and proficient with ICT; equip pre-tertiary students with ICT skills; integrate ICT into education administration; and transform teacher development and post-secondary education through technology-based training. This investment constitutes a holistic approach to creating an inclusive and excellence-driven education system.