Empowering Minds: Educational Reforms in Ghana – The Impact of Review Committees

a picture of educational reforms inghana

By the end of this section, we would consider the following;

  • The Kwapong Educational Review Committee
  • The Dzobo Educational Review Committee
  • The Evans-Anfom Committee Reforms
  • Anamouah-Mensah Committee Reforms

Kindly down and listen to the summarized audios on the reforms

Kwapong Educational Review Committee Of 1967

Following the implementation of the Accelerated Development Plan (ADP) in Ghana, the National Liberation Council, the country’s first military government, recognized the need for a comprehensive review of the program’s effectiveness. To address this, a committee led by Prof. Alex Kwapong, then Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, was established to assess the ADP’s impact and propose necessary adjustments for government consideration.

The Committee’s Recommendations

  • Introduction of Continuation Schools – Aimed at enhancing practical and employable skills among students.
  • The middle school system – the introduction common entrance exams
  • There should be rapid expansion of schools
  • Establishment of an Effective Feedback System – Advocated for a mechanism to provide continuous evaluation of existing practices and innovations.
  • Creation of National Councils for Education – Proposed separate councils for pre-tertiary and tertiary education to determine policies and coordinate activities at their respective levels. Emphasis on balanced development considering national manpower and other requirements.
  • The structure of education has 6:4:5:2, i.e. six years of primary education, four years of middle schooling, five years of ordinary level schooling, and 2 years of advance level schooling. In all seventeen (17) years of schooling.

Implementation of Committee’s Proposals A. Influence on Educational Administration (Early 1970s) – Committee’s recommendations largely shaped the administration and management of education in Ghana until the early 1970s.

Growing Dissatisfaction with the System – Increasing discontent among Ghanaians, particularly regarding the structure and content of the education system.

Criticism of Prolonged Schooling without Employable Skills – Notable concerns raised about the extended duration of schooling without providing students with practical and marketable skills.

The Dzobo Educational Review Committee Of 1972

When the National Redemption Council (NRC) government took over the administration of the country in 1972, there was effort to address the prevailing challenges within the educational system, the government established an educational review committee. Professor N.K. Dzobo, from the Faculty of Education at the University of Cape Coast, was appointed as the committee’s chairman with the mandate to assess and revise the structure and context of education.

The Committee’s Recommendation

  • The need for inclusive educational system.  
  • There was also the need to prioritize science and technological education, which was lacking in the existing educational framework.
  • That the education system should focus on key socio-economic and developmental needs of Ghana, such as environmental issues, disease, deforestation, and agricultural productivity.
  • The introduction of JSS and SSS which were piloted in the urban areas.

The Evans-Anfom Committee Reforms Of 1987

The Dzobo Committee’s Report, while influential in Ghana’s education delivery, fell short of meeting aspirations due to a lack of political will for nationwide implementation. As a result, the new system coexisted with the old one it was meant to replace.

In 1987, the PNDC government established the Evans-Anfom Committee to review the educational system and propose actionable recommendations.

The changes introduced into the education system among other things, included:

  • Shortening pre-university education from 17 to 12 years by replacing the 6, 4, 7 system with 6, 3, 3; i.e. six years primary schooling, 3 years Junior High schooling, and 3 years Senior High schooling.
  • Introduction of the continuous assessment
  • Guidance and Counselling
  • Enhancing teaching quality and learning through extended school hours and a policy to phase out untrained teachers.
  • Streamlining education planning and management for greater efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Introducing FCUBE (Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education) for all.
  • Incorporating technical and vocational courses to address the nation’s workforce needs, providing practical skills to combat rising unemployment. This aimed to equip students for self-employment or employment in existing businesses.

The 1987 Educational Reform Committee introduced significant changes in Ghana’s education provision, including decentralization. This new administrative structure involves key roles from policy-making down to implementation:

  • Minister of Education (policy maker)
  • Director General of the Ghana Education Service (policy implementer)
  • Deputy Director General
  • Director 1
    • Divisional Director (Headquarters)
    • Regional Director
  • Director 2: District Directors
  • District Education Oversight Committee
  • Circuit Supervisors (Officers)
  • Head teacher
  • Parent-Teacher Association
  • Teacher

NOTE: At the district level, the District Director of Education holds the highest authority for decision-making, while Headmasters make school-based decisions in accordance with educational laws. District and Municipal Assemblies are responsible for building, equipping, and maintaining public basic schools, in consultation with the Ministers of Education and Local Government. They also advise the Minister of Education on district education matters and grant approval for local educational policies in public schools. The District Education Oversight Committee, School Management Committee, and Parent-Teacher Associations collaborate with the Central Government to provide educational resources.

You can Download and Listen to Audios that summarize the educaional reforms in simple terms.

Anamouah-Mensah Committee Reforms Of 2007

Successive Ghanaian governments made efforts to improve the education system, but challenges persisted, partly due to rapid advancements in science and technology. This led to the formation of a new Education Review Committee, chaired by Prof. Josephus Anamouah-Mensah, Vice Chancellor of the University of Education, Winneba. Their task was to evaluate Ghana’s education system comprehensively, making it responsive to current and future needs. The Committee advocated for 100% access to basic education, prioritizing technical and vocational training and enhancing instructional quality to accommodate diverse student abilities.

The 5 Educational Acts in GES….

  • The Committee proposed an educational framework resembling the Evans-Anfom Report of 1988, with the addition of two years of kindergarten and apprenticeship training for Junior High School graduates not continuing in the formal sector. The Committee identified junior secondary schools as a weak link due to issues like inadequately prepared teachers, insufficient guidance and counseling services, and an emphasis on general education at the expense of technical and vocational education.
  • At the Senior Secondary School level, challenges included inadequate resources, poor infrastructure, and lack of proper guidance services. The Committee recommended maintaining the three-year program and strengthening basic education to provide a solid foundation for SSS. They emphasized the pivotal role of well-trained teachers and called for institutions like the University of Education, Winneba, to lead in teacher training.
  • While the government’s white paper suggested extending SSS to four years for better syllabus coverage, the current education structure encompasses a two-year kindergarten, six years of primary education, three years of junior high school, four years of senior high school, and tertiary education. However, operational difficulties persist, with concerns raised by parents, education stakeholders, civil society, and politicians.

These 5 important documents will offer you more insights into policies, education standards, do and don’ts and many more.

Click here to Download the 5 important Educational Acts every Ghanaian teacher must know…..

Get yourself in readiness for our next quiz on educational reforms in Ghana.

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