Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, the Minister of Education, has launched a new Secondary Education Improvement Project to improve the quality of second cycle education.
The aim of the project is to increase access to senior secondary education in underserved districts as well as improve quality in low-performing senior high schools.
Prof Opoku-Agyemang told journalists that the project was expected to benefit approximately 30,000 new students in secondary education programmes, 150,000 students in low performing schools, 2000 senior high school teachers, head teachers in addition to education officials.
She said the proposed project would support Government's Community Day Senior High School programme through increased access with equity and quality in senior high schools and management, research and monitoring and evaluation.
The minister said the component uses a Results Based Financing (RBF) modality and as such disbursements up to a capped absolute amount which would be made against specific line items in the Education sectors annual budget, referred to as Eligible Expenditure Programmes (EEPs).
These would be conditioned on achievement of specified results, as measured by Disbursement-Linked Indicators (DLIs).
Prof Agyemang said policies and interventions to be supported are grouped into two pillars to increase access with equity (geographic, gender, poverty); and improve quality of selected low performing SHS.
She said pillar one of the project sought to improve access to Senior High School education in underserved districts by constructing 23 new Senior High Schools in selected districts, expected to enroll 15,000 students.
Fifty existing senior high schools would be expanded and rehabilitated to enroll an additional 10,000 students and provide scholarships to 10,400 students from low income families, especially girls
She said to improve the quality of education in selected low-performing senior high schools $15 million is needed with a focus on Mathematics and Science education in selected low performing schools.
This she said would strengthen school management, leadership and expansion of Information Communication and Technology (ICT) in the 125 selected low-performing schools in order to improve quality of education in Ghana.
Prof Opoku-Agyemang said the Project would support the government's programme to strengthen school management, leadership and accountability; target interventions to improve the quality of Science and Mathematics education; and introduce School Performance Partnerships (SPPs) based on School Performance Partnership Plans (SPPPs) to capture quality improvements.
These SPPPs would develop mutual accountability between school management and the District Education Oversight Committee (DEOC) to improve learning performance with the commitment from government agencies.
It will also provide the necessary resources and the responsibility of schools to implement quality improvement activities with verifiable outcomes, she reiterated.
She said, in addition to school-based quality inputs, training and financing, this pillar will support the systematic collection and publication of school data for stakeholders to make informed decisions about SHS selection.
She said it would also help the Ministry of Education and Ghana Education Service to make informed decisions about planning and financing SHS.
Prof Opoku-Agyemang explained that secondary education project has a time line of five years, thus when taken seriously and approved by parliament would enhance the education system to the benefit of the poor and gradually put an end to school drop outs.
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