The Minister of Education, Dr Yaw Adutwum, says the government would review school curriculum to include active play-based learning for KG and Primary.
He made this known at the Annual National Level Forum on Learning through Play in Accra recently.
Addressing the forum organised by Right to Play and Ghana Education Service, he said his ministry and Ghana Education Service (GES) have committed to making conscious efforts geared towards improving the quality of education in Ghana.
Mr. Adutwum also revealed that government had undertaken a number of educational reforms to include the development of the Education Strategic Plan for 2018-2030, “Education Regulatory Bodies Act 2020, review of school curriculum to include active play- based learning for KG and Primary, Common core curriculum for Junior High school; formulation of Early Childhood Education Policy to guide activities of the early learning; ICT policy; Safe school policy among others.”
He noted that the Ministry of Education and Right To Play collaborated on a number of activities aimed at increasing teachers’ capacity to adopt play-based learning methodologies and other interactive teaching and learning approaches to respond to learners’ needs and interests.
The Country Director of Right to Play (RTP), Josephine Mukakalisa, said play is very important and as such children learn a lot of skills through it.
To her, every child has the right to engage in play, recreational activities at an appropriate age and time.
“Our aim is to promote play to empower the next generation because every child deserves a bright future and it is our role to build a strong partnership with government, institutions and non-government organizations.
Challenges in the adoption of play based learning.
According to the education specialist with Right To Play, Goa Kwabena, there is a lack of knowledge about the value of play in learning and all pupils believe that play should be employed more in lower schools than older years..
Also, Teachers and headteachers share a strong belief in the use of play for developing life skills, but not its use to improve academic skills.
He also mentioned an increase in school grants to assist the provision of teaching and learning materials that encourage the use of play-based learning methods.
Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, has meanwhile, assured that textbooks will soon be made available to primary and junior high schools in the country.
According to the Minister, the Ministry is at the quality assurance stage where factual, grammatical and other errors are checked to ensure that the best books are delivered to students.
He indicated that once that process is followed through, procurement and delivery will follow. The Minister could however not give specific date, but assured that the books will be out soon. “You do your work very well and I should be mindful not to give you a date, but I know it will come soon.”
Dr Adutwum made this known in Parliament last week Thursday when he was invited to respond to questions regarding his Ministry.
The issue of textbooks came up due to the fact that it has been over two years since the basic schools have existed without textbooks after the introduction of the new curriculum.
Explaining why the production of the books have delayed, the Minister explained that there are two systems when it comes to the production of textbooks; the first is where the government undertakes the actual writing and production while the other system is where the private sector produces the books.
The Bosomtwe Member of Parliament said that with the government-led production, the books are produced on time because processes such as procurement and others are not involved while the private sector-led production involves procurement which leads to delay in the supply of the books.
He indicated that the government used to produce the books but gave that right to private sector due to its private sector base industrialisation agenda.
“Now Ghana moved away from the government sector-led production to private sector led production and that takes some time.
“It takes sometime interns of even the procurement. If this was done by the government, you would have printed everything and you are gone. But since we want to promote the private sector as a policy of the various governments up till date, it takes some time.”
He, however, indicated that he is not proud about the delay of the books and so he has learnt his lessons and would ensure that same does not happen going forward.
“But I am learning from this. As the Minister for Education I am learning from this so that we don’t repeat it in the future. I and my deputies are all learning from this to ensure that we don’t repeat this in future.”
Responding to a question as which of the books the students have been using in absence of the textbooks, the Minister said the students are using a book that has content for teachers to guide the students as to which books they should read.
Dr Adutwum concluded that the Ministry is doing its best to ensure that Ghana will have a quality, accessible and relevant education system in the country and also to ensure that education becomes the most important agent for socio-economic transformation in the country.
By Agnes Ansah & Jennifer Ambolley