Bawumia: Africa’s participation in Fourth Industrial Revolution requires education reform

The vice-president said sharing ideas on education will help African countries to prepare adequately for the changing global dynamics which are giving rise to the Fourth Industrial Revolution

The vice-president, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has said that African countries must learn best practices from each other and the rest of the world, especially in the fields of education and skills acquisition.

He argued that it will help them prepare adequately for the changing dynamics of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Speaking at the World Bank-organised ministerial meeting on education for West and Central Africa in Accra on Monday (27 June 2022), Dr Bawumia said while individual countries were rolling out educational reforms, collaboration would scale up the rate of adoption of such reforms and have a greater impact on their quest to build a strong human resource base.

“We will not be able to deliver change without building and sustaining political momentum in the region. In many of the region’s countries, more efforts are needed to rationalise the governance of education systems to achieve greater coherence, co-operation and co-ordination.

“Indeed, the relationship between socio-economic development and human capital is critical and Ghana’s policies on education access, quality, equity, relevance, skills acquisition and education financing reflect how Ghana is using education as a lever for human capital development and socio-economic transformation,” the vice-president said.

The meeting, which brought together ministers of finance and education from 22 countries in West and Central Africa, will discuss key findings of the World Bank Africa Western and Central Education Strategy 2022-2025, framed around the strategic themes of finance and governance, tackling learning poverty and foundational skills, technical vocational education and training, and tertiary education and skills.

It will also build a coalition on education and a movement for increased focus on quality education to promote human capital in West and Central Africa and issue a call for action by finance and education ministers.

Reforms in Ghana’s education sector

Outlining an extensive list of ongoing reforms in Ghana’s education sector, from reviewing the pre-tertiary education curriculum and secondary education reform focusing on access to Free Senior High school, through establishment of the Commission for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET) and the TVET Service to operationalise the TVET space, to elevation of the minimum qualification for teachers from diploma to degree, as well as provision of access to financing of tertiary education in Ghana through the “no guarantor policy”, Vice-President Bawumia called for cross-pollination of ideas on ways to make such reforms even better.

“As is the case of several other countries in West and Central Africa, Ghana has introduced several key policies and reforms to strengthen education quality and management across the education sector …

“Ghana’s education reform agenda can benefit from collaboration and synergy with our regional partners. That is what this conference must explore to spur up the collective growth of the continent because, as Helen Keller once said, ‘Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.’”

Commending Ghana for the successes chalked so far in her education reforms, the World Bank vice-president for West and Central Africa, Ousmane Diagana, said the Bank’s 2022-2025 Education Strategy was designed to meet the needs of the youth of the continent, and assured them of his organisation’s continued support for such objectives as reducing learning poverty – the share of ten-year-olds who are unable to read and understand a short text. Learning poverty affects more than 80% of children across the region, the highest rate in the world.



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