The government has announced that as part of its educational reform initiatives, it is investing in the expansion of tertiary institutions to absorb the high numbers of entrants that are likely to emerge from second-cycle institutions following the introduction of the Free SHS policy.
It also revealed that the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund), will be the source of funding for priority projects in the various tertiary institutions in the country in order to realise this purpose.
The announcement was made by the Minister for Planning, Prof. George Gyan-Baffour on Saturday, in a speech he delivered on behalf of President Nana Akufo-Addo to end the 1st Session of the 22nd Congregation of the University of Education, Winneba.
“The Free SHS policy which we expect to boost enrollment in our Senior High Schools will ultimately lead to greater demand for tertiary education. As a nation, we must therefore, as a matter of urgency, begin to prepare for the increased numbers, and government is committed to expanding access to tertiary institutions to accommodate the expected increase in demand”, Prof Gyan-Baffour stated.
On the reliance on the GETFund for the expansion, he explained that, “An amount of GHc255 million representing about thirty-two percent of the total GETFund allocation this year, has been allocated to the tertiary sector for the implementation of priority projects’”
According to the statement, the move is to ensure that no Ghanaian who passes out from the senior high school and is qualified is denied quality tertiary education.
Ongoing Educational Reforms
The Planning Minister also hinted of massive educational reforms underway that will see the face-lifting of the educational sector from the basic to the tertiary level.
“The Ministry of Education has embarked on a review of the legal, institutional and regulatory framework of its agencies to ensure that they are properly aligned to provide a clearer understanding of their functions, and strengthening their mandates to perform efficiently”.
Also currently under review are the National Council for Tertiary Education Act, Act 454, and the National Accreditation Act, Act 744.
The Minister further announced that to improve quality at the pre-tertiary level of education in the country, “government has committed itself to reforming the curriculum at the pre-tertiary level to focus on the 4-Rs, namely, writing, arithmetic, reading and the creative arts”, adding, that “we are also committed to the promotion of science, technology, engineering and mathematics”.
In the area of technical and vocational education, Prof. Gyan-Baffour said the reforms will realign technical and vocational institutions to the Ministry of Education to link them to the Technical Universities to spearhead government’s One District-One Factory policy.