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World Bank supports secondary education with $156m

Source: Graphic Online

The World Bank has provided $156 million to support the Secondary Education Improvement Project (SEIP). The project is expected to increase access to secondary education in under-served districts and improve quality in low-performing senior high schools (SHS).

The Education Minister, Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, who announced this at the meet-the-press series in Accra yesterday, said the ministry had also started the construction of the 200 community day SHSs promised by President John Mahama.

Work on them started this year.

She said the sod had already been cut for the construction of the first 50 community SHSs.

Road map

Prof Opoku-Agyemang said the ministry, in consultation with its stakeholders, had also prepared a report on the road map for the progressive introduction of free secondary education as required under the 1992 Constitution.

The road map, she said, would be presented to the Cabinet for approval before its implementation.

She said it was under that road map that fees for day students would be abolished at an estimated cost of GH¢71 million to the government in the 2015-2016 academic year, adding that other reliefs in respect of boarding students would be announced when the road map was approved by the Cabinet.

Review of Resit

The minister announced that the ministry, in collaboration with the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), had introduced a BECE resit policy to enable private candidates to take part in the examination.

“Under the new policy, private BECE candidates will now be permitted to resit the examination, beginning from February 2015 in order to provide opportunities for candidates who do not meet the criteria for selection into SHSs,” she said.

Education Sector

Prof Opoku-Agyemang indicated that the educational sector had made great strides over the years towards refining a system that served the best personal and communal interests, with the overall aim of advancing citizenship and all aspects of development in the country.

She said the work of the ministry was propelled by the conviction that the educational system had been good and had, over the years, produced some of the finest talents and human resource in any field of endeavour.

She said the ministry currently had under it 19,277 kindergartens, 19,854 primary schools, 12,436 junior high schools (JSSs), 828 SHSs, 45 technical and vocational schools, 10 polytechnics, 10 state universities and more than 60 private universities.

The Labour Front

As part of efforts at ensuring a conducive industrial atmosphere in educational institutions, the minister said the ministry had set up a monthly education fora to create a conducive environment for all unions within the sector to discuss issues.

She said since its inception, a number of issues relating to the welfare of employees of the ministry had been addressed, while others remained outstanding.

Some of the outstanding issues, she said, included the payment of 2013 vehicle maintenance allowance and the GEST Tier-2 occupational pension scheme.