The Minister of Education, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, on Thursday, December 9, 2021, extolled the virtues of Ghanaian teachers, describing them as one of the most committed and resourceful educators in the world before a half-packed Parliament.
“Mr. Speaker, one thing that I will say is that Ghana has the most resourceful teachers anywhere in the world. Our teachers are very resourceful and once you provide them with the opportunity of learner packs, they are going to do a fantastic job”, he noted in a partly response to a question posed at him by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Akatsi North, Peter Nortsu-Kotoe.
Hon. Nortsu-Kotoe had sought to find out from the Minister of Education whether the Ministry had conducted any impact assessment study on the quality of the new curriculum they have introduced without additional reference materials like text books of which Dr. Adutwum answered in the negative.
“We have not done any impact assessment study for me to be able to respond to that”, he noted.
Nevertheless, Dr. Adutwum was hopeful that the implementation of the National Standardized text and other assessments being rolled out by the Ministry of Education will pave way for a comprehensive impact assessment study to be done on the new curriculum, the results he noted, will be duly shared with the House.
“Mr. Speaker, whenever the impact assessment is done, I will be reminded of the need to and of your admonishing, to make sure I bring the results of the study to this House. I should say that our teachers are one of the most committed and resourceful and I am sure just like they’ve done in the just ended WASSCE, at the basic level, we are going to see similar results coming from education system”, he said.
In 2019, the Ministry of Education rolled out new reforms in the country’s educational sector among which included standards-based curriculum (SBC), a new curriculum for basic schools of which its implementation begun in 2021.
This new curriculum highlights the development of not only fundamental knowledge and skills of the pupils, but also, the development of national values and core competencies needed for sustainable development and lifestyles for all in the 21st century.
Three years down the line, the Ghana Education Service has not been able to provide text books to support the implementation of the new curriculum, a concern which has drawn some criticisms from a cross section of the public.
The goals of the SBC reform are different from the earlier ones, and the context of implementation, in terms of resources, technology and teacher capacity, have comparatively improved, and therefore, cannot be rolled out the same way as previous reforms.
These concerns compelled the Director-General of the Ghana Education Service, Prof. Kwasi Opoku Amankwa, to direct teachers across the country to stop using the new curriculum for basic schools and return to using the previous curriculum.
This directive drew a sharp response from the Coalition of Concerned Teachers with its leader, Ayikwei Awuley Adokwei, expressing discontent about the said directive since reverting to the previous curriculum in the middle of the implementation of the new one was going to affect the process of teaching.
“As teachers in the classroom without textbooks, now you have to refer to textbooks of the old curriculum to teach the new curriculum does not flow, teachers need to look at it and make adjustments before teaching and it brings a whole lot of burden on the teaching process for teachers”, he was quoted as saying by 3news.com.
He added “it means whatever you taught the pupils with the new curriculum for the past seven months, you have to go and take the old one and restart teaching.”
However, responding to the status of the procurement of textbooks for the implementation of the new curriculum in a question posed by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP for Kwesimintsim, Dr. Hamidu Armah, the Education Minister said the text books would soon come on stream to give some sort of relief to teachers.
“Text books are important at the implementation of any new curriculum. What we did at the beginning therefore was to ensure that we have learned packages made available to teachers which included learning activities, various lessons, and plans so that teachers can administer and deliver instructions accordingly. With the text books coming down, it is going to be a relief and also be a continuation where full lesson activities will also be available to teachers to ensure effective implementation of the curriculum”, he noted.