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Ghana Disputes Global Ranking On Education   
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Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang
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Ghana is ranked the last of 76 countries in a survey conducted by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in the global ranking on Mathematics and Science education.

The survey ranked Singapore and Hong Kong in the pride places of first and second respectively.

The survey, which compiled the list, says the comparisons - based on test scores in 76 countries - show the link between education and economic growth.

Other countries in the lowest ranks together with Ghana were Oman, Morocco, Honduras, South Africa which were ranked 72, 73, 74 and 75 respectively.

Ministry of Education disputes ranking
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education has taken note of media publications regarding a school ranking on Mathematics and Science at age 15 by the OECD with specific reference to Ghana’s position among 76 countries in the world.

“As we wait for the full report to be formally presented at the World Education Forum in South Korea next week to which our Minister of Education, Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, has been invited, it is important to be circumspect at this stage and to acknowledge that we do not at this point have details on the methodology and the period covered in this first-ever OECD report on school rankings. 

“We have also noted from the press highlights of the research that only 76 countries out of over 195 countries in the world were considered for this research. It, therefore, cannot be said that Ghana’s educational system is the worst globally as has been circulated by sections of the Ghanaian media,” a statement signed by the Minister of Education, Prof.   Opoku-Agyemang, stated.

The statement added that Ghana was one of only five African countries that featured in the ranking, stressing, “It will be interesting to explore how these five African countries, thus Ghana, South Africa, Botswana, Morocco and Tunisia, made it to these rankings. Are we perhaps being told that these are the best performing nations in Africa? What other interpretations exist to justify the inclusion or selection of these African nations and indeed of the entire 76-nation sample frame?”

Other rankings
“It is worth pointing out that apart from this OECD report, all other recently published international reports have been highly complimentary of Ghana’s efforts at improving the quality of education.  For example, the independent United Kingdom think tank, the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), praised the tangible gains Ghana has made in access and quality in its report captioned ‘Ghana, the Rising Star: Progress in Political Voice, Health and Education’ published in March, 2015.  The report notes that Ghana ranks among the highest performing countries in human development in sub-Saharan Africa, especially in terms of health and education,” the statement said. 

It said similarly, the UNESCO Education For All Global Monitoring Report  indicated that Ghana’s progress between 2000 and 2012 surpassed the averages of sub-Saharan Africa, developing countries and developed countries. 

According to the statement the 2014 Global Information Technology Report of the World Economic Forum also highlighted significant successes and ranked Ghana 46th out of 148 countries in the world in terms of the quality of our education system while in the area of Mathematics and Science, Ghana was ranked 2nd in Africa and 62nd in the world.

“Meanwhile, it is important to stress that the government of President John Dramani Mahama has long prioritised the study of Maths and Science not only to improve scores but to make it more attractive and exciting to study while targeting improved transition rates.  This is the reason the government has been embarking on a number of bold interventions over the last three years including enagaging the services of globally renowned mathematicians Prof. Francis Allotey and Prof. Sitsope Anku.  Under this intervention, thousands of maths and science teachers are being retrained to meet government’s objective,” the statement said. 

"This is the first time we have a truly global scale of the quality of education," said the OECD's Education Director, Andreas Schleicher.

"The idea is to give more countries, rich and poor, access to comparing themselves against the world's education leaders, to discover their relative strengths and weaknesses, and to see what the long-term economic gains from improved quality in schooling could be for them," he explained.
Source: Daily Graphic

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