Bawumia: Government reforming education to produce critical thinkers

Dr Mahamudu Bawumia says the government will focus more on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem) to reposition the entire education system

Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, the vice-president, has said that the government is undertaking a radical reform of Ghana’s education sector with the aim of preparing Ghanaians and the Ghanaian economy to participate fully in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

He said the government will intensify the national focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem) with the overall aim of repositioning Ghanas education system.

The aim is to produce a critical mass of assertive and empowered Ghanaian students equipped with the skills to effect socio-economic transformation.

Speaking at the 70th-anniversary celebration of Tamale Senior High School, Dr Bawumia said the president’s vision of producing skilled and well-rounded Ghanaians has resulted in one of the most fundamental reforms in the school system ever carried out in this country.

“The reform programme is anchored on interventions that will leverage science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem) to prepare our population and national economy to become active participants in the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” he said.

“The reason is simple: a strong national Stem programme will develop learners with 21st-century skills (ie, creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration) required to drive the country into economic prosperity beyond aid.”

This focus on Stem will start at the basic level with a B-Stem (Basic STEM) framework, “under which essential equipment, including robotics kits, electronics, computers, promethean boards, projectors are to be provided. In addition, the Ministry of Education is in the process of setting up 11 model state-of-the-art, never-before-seen Stem senior high schools across the country, each of which shall be equipped with 12 laboratories that can rival any such school anywhere in the world,” he announced.

“I am also happy to announce that, as part of the plan, a Stem pathway will be established in some existing senior high schools, which will benefit from additional four laboratories, and Tamale Senior High School (TAMASCO) will be one of them.”

Dr Bawumia, who joined past and present students of the first secondary school in Northern Ghana for the launch of the TAMASCO celebrations, said lessons had been learned from the history of educational deprivation in Northern Ghana.

The effects of a lack of access to secondary education laid the foundation for the development gap between the North and the South, he said.

Thus, the government is determined to provide access for every Ghanaian child, wherever he or she may be, to a level playing field, and to bridge the gap, he stressed.


Dr Bawumia, who is a member of the TAMASCO 1980 year group, praised the early politicians from the North who recognised the importance of education and who, through the Northern People’s Party, advocated more access to education and significantly influenced the Education Act 1961 to make it more responsive to the needs of the North.

“Seventy years of secondary education has improved human quality, equipped beneficiaries with much knowledge and skills, which in turn have improved the ability to analyse, appreciate, assimilate, socialise with others, as well as opened better avenues for employment. Ultimately, these have helped to minimise poverty.”

The establishment in 1951 of the then Government Secondary School in the Northern Territories created the opportunity for students in Northern Ghana to gain access, for the first time, to secondary education in Northern Ghana, 75 years after secondary education was introduced in the South.

This created access to education for people living in and around areas such as the upper part of the then Brong-Ahafo Region, the northern part of the Volta Region (now Oti), the Northern Region, which then included the newly created regions of Savannah and North-East, and the Upper Region, now divided into the Upper East and Upper West.

Seventy years later, Tamale Secondary School – affectionately called the Northern Light – has produced dozens of illustrious sons and daughters, including a president of the republic, two vice-presidents, two Supreme Court judges, an inspector general of police, two dhiefs of defence staff as well as a Speaker of Parliament.

On the same trip, Vice-President Bawumia commissioned a girls’ dormitory, built by the MTN Foundation, and a boys’ dormitory, constructed by the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund), at Tamale Senior High School. The school, in appreciation of the vice-president’s continued support, has also named a house after him, making it officially Bawumia House.

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