Member of Parliament for Kwesiminstim, Western region, Dr Prince Hamid Armah, says there is a need for credit and qualification framework to address challenges existing in the education system.
The MP, who doubles as the Vice Chairman of the Education Committee in Parliament, explained that the importance of having a national qualification framework was to ensure that there’s transparency and accountability in the qualifications that people possess and how they can transit from one sector of the academic ladder to the other.
According to him, if a person studied Technical and Vocation Education Training (TVET) and later wants to transit into general education in Nigeria or another Africa country, that should be easy with the qualification framework.
He was speaking at the Pan Africa Students Conference-Ghana, 2022,dubbed:“Bridging the educational engagement gap: Immigration and inter-cultural dialogue,”held at the Pentecost University College in Accra.
The Legislator emphasised that the national qualification framework will bring about transparency and accountability in respect of students’ qualifications.
“If you study a first degree, first year at Pentecost University and you want to travel to Nigeria, the question will be, will you be able to continue from second year from the course you were doing in Ghana …it’s not possible… in fact, in Ghana, in time past, people who had HND and wanted to do degree had to start from level 100.
“So what the qualification framework does is to recognize that a piece of learning has taken place which is then quantified and converted into a credit or number which can follow you wherever you want to move to,” Dr. Armah noted.
Additionally, he mentioned that the national qualification framework will in quest need “a whole national credit and qualification authority that will be responsible for credit transfer.
“Well-structured countries that have qualification systems also have qualification authorities and so one of the key policy changes that we will require is to decouple the qualification evaluation, certificate evaluation and create a whole national credit and qualification authority that will be responsible for credit transfer, because it is a huge business on its own, that cannot be left under a unit of an agency.”
He, therefore, recommended thatWest Africa Examination Council, the Ghana chapter be converted into the Ghana National Credit Examination Authority responsible for credit and qualifications for the pre tertiary level.
Speaking on mobility challenges facing international students in the country, he said the continent’s policy space is not conducive to foster student mobility.
“Students in Africa are struggling in terms of mobility, not only on immigration issues, but because policy imperative of credit transfer, policy imperative of qualification evaluation. So, every country is working in silos.
“The impact of student mobility is so much that it can even have impact on our economic development. In terms of human resources, when people study abroad and they decide to stay there, the knowledge they acquire are kept there to the benefit of that country.
“But if we are able to evolve, not only Ghana qualification framework but also a continental qualification framework, then it becomes easier for people to easily crisscross Africa in their academic pursuits,” he added.
He also urged policy makers across Africa to conceptualise these mobility problems as an Africa problem and create solutions, which will aid the eradication of the problem.
The conference had global dignitaries such as; Deputy Head of Mission for the Embassy of Algeria, Atmane Boudjemia, Ambassador for Suriname, H.E Fidelia Graand-Galdon and the Director for Community Education and Youth Development, Dr. Akosua Abdallah, gracing the occasion.