The Minister of Education, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, has described the University of Cape Coast (UCC) as the forefront of education transformation in the country.
He has, therefore, called on the University to come up with educational ideas to expand the frontiers of quality education in the country.
Dr. Osei Adutwum made these remarks when he launched the 60th anniversary celebration of the University. It was on the theme “60 years of Quality Higher Education: “Expanding the Frontiers”.
According to him, educational ideas should not be left in the hands of politicians. He therefore urged UCC to come up with innovative ideas to transform the education sector. He expressed disquiet that with the advent of technology, some faculty members of tertiary institutions still insist their students learn by rote.
“…For your nation to be competitive, we need to change how to teach and how students learn. Our nation will not become competitive unless we stop rote memorization in our classrooms” the minister stressed.
Dr. Adutwum, who is also the Member of Parliament for Bosomtwe Constituency in the Ashanti Region, noted that Ghana was in lack of teachers for children with special needs, especially speech therapists. Consequently, he appealed to UCC management to consider the training of speech therapists to facilitate the teaching and learning of children with special needs.
As regards Ghana’s quest to transform and improve education with the Introduction of Science, technology, Engineering and technology, (STEM), the minister appealed to UCC to lead the way in STEM education and to train teachers to handle STEM subjects at the Senior high schools.
At the basic level in Cape Coast, Dr. Adutwum pointed out that learning outcomes were extremely low as basic school children were unable to read basic words.
“Cape Coast is the citadel of learning and it must not be the place where they have poor learning outcomes. Cape Coast students get to Primary six (6) and they cannot read. Let us change Cape Coast and that will be the lasting legacy of UCC”, he observed.
Dr. Adutwum also tasked faculty to volunteer and visit basic schools in Cape Coast to encourage pupils to take their studies seriously. Such visitations by faculty, he underscored, would imprint on the minds of the school children, who would strive hard to become like them in future.
In realising this, the minister appealed to UCC management to set up a “Neighbourhood Academic Initiative” aimed at mentoring and guiding basic school children in Cape Coast to achieve their academic dreams. Dr. Adutwum promised to donate a vehicle emblazoned with “UCC Neighbourhood Academic Initiative” to facilitate the transportation of the volunteers.
He said the academic results of the Free Senior High School graduates lent credence to quality education in the country and announced that the transition of all SHS from double track system to single track.
Dr. Adutwum added that next year, a huge number of schools would move to the single track system. He disagreed with persons who criticised his Ministry for posting students with abysmal grades to first class Senior High schools such as Wesley Girls, Adisadel College among others.
To him, the first class schools had the best teachers to transform such students with poor grades. He noted such transformations would justify the reputations of such schools as the best in the country.
Source: Documentation and Information Section-UCC