The Tertiary Education Policy Document, which is a landmark development, will soon be made available to the public, Professor Kwesi Yankah, Minister of State in-charge of Tertiary Education, has said.
He said the peace and stability the nation was enjoying was further boosted by the educational reforms government has launched in the past few years, which were arguably the most far-reaching in Ghana’s educational history; touching virtually every single strand or sector of education: from the kindergarten, through primary, junior high school, senior high school and tertiary sector.
He said these range from curriculum reforms, through structural changes, the professionalization of the teacher, structural changes in teacher education, to achieving equity and widening access to education across the various stages.
“Indeed, for the first time in recent history, Ghana now has a Tertiary Education Policy Document which encapsulates cardinal policies of Government on tertiary education, from admissions through graduation, funding, graduate studies and cross-cutting issues on gender, equity, inclusiveness as well as tertiary education and the labour market.”
Prof Yankah said this over the weekend at the fourth session of the 11th Congregation of the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA).
At the event, a total of 657 students from the UPSA’s School of Graduate Studies were graduated.
The total figure comprises of 18 Master of Philosophy in Leadership students, 632 Master of Business Administration students with various specialisations and seven Master of Science in Leadership students.
“It is indeed, a joy browsing through the policy document. It is in this document that the new centralized application to universities is outlined, seeking to reduce the stress involved in applying to multiple universities at considerable expense, to a one-stop-shop, where multiple applications are rolled into a single effort, at one unit cost. No stress, no tears,” he said.
He said for the government, expanding access to education, means removing all barriers and obstacles that impede access.
“If a stressful and expensive application process stands in the way of the applicant, the Nana Akufo-Addo Government simply says, that is unacceptable,” he said.
“It compromises the quality of Ghana’s human resource base, and does not allow the nation to optimize its full human resource potential, that would otherwise drive and transform the economy.”
He said through this policy alone, Ghana‘s Gross Enrolment Ratio at the tertiary level, currently at 16 per cent was bound to inch higher.
He said a programme of sensitizing the public and relevant stakeholder groups, about the Centralized Applications Policy, would be kick-started this coming Monday, July 29 as they await a pilot of the project to be rolled out early next year.
Prof Yankah said even more significant, was an emerging admissions policy that introduces some flexibility in the consideration of some non-credit passes for admission into universities, and other tertiary institutions.
He said the Ministry of Education was currently liaising with the National Council for Tertiary Education to spell out the implications of this new policy for admissions to universities and other relevant institutions.
He said the status of grades like D7 in some core subjects, will thus be further clarified to give some hope to some applicants to the humanities for example, who had passed Mathematics without credit but were still being denied access even to courses where mathematics would not stand in their way.
He said the government seeks to remove bottlenecks to admissions processes and policies that are simply unjust, and discriminate against a majority of students from less endowed homes and institutions, where it was an exception rather than a rule, to get credit passes in all key subjects, and where no provision was made for even one non-credit pass in key subjects.
He said the new education policy document was not meant in any way, to compromise the quality of education; it rather seeks to introduce greater fairness into admission processes, as well as bring Ghana in line with more flexible admission practices in several countries far and near.
Prof Abednego Feehi Okoe Amartey, Vice-Chancellor, UPSA, said the University was currently blending professional programmes with normal degree programmes, aimed at making the UPSA graduates more relevant and job-ready, through their dual qualification scheme.
He commended the graduates for finishing hard and for attaining scholarship with professionalism.