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$219m for 10k low-performing basic schools.

Some ten thousand low-performing basic schools across the country are set to benefit from a $219 million initiative launched by President Akufo-Addo yesterday at Jubilee House.

The programme, the Ghana Accountability and Learning Outcomes Project (GALOP), is to help drive standards and quality in the low-performing basic schools.

The $219 million investment, co-sponsored by the World Bank and Department for International Development (DFID), would focus on a comprehensive set of interventions that address constraints from teaching to learning in our schools.

In his address at the ceremony to launch the initiative, President Akufo-Addo indicated that the problem of low learning outcomes that reflect in the performance of some of our children at the Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA), Early Grade Mathematics Assessment (EGMA), and Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE), must be addressed.

He stressed that though the government had done a lot to improve education in the country over the last three and half years, there was more room for improvement.

President Akufo-Addo believed that to achieve the desired improvement in learning for all of Ghana's children, the government is determined to ensure that children in every part of the country are taught by professional teachers.

'We remain focused on ensuring equitable teacher deployment and strengthening accountability regimes. That is why government is pleased to be collaborating with the World Bank in introducing the Ghana Accountability and Learning Outcomes Project (GALOP),' he added.

The President explained: 'Through this programme, teachers in the early grades will be provided with continuous training, in line with the new curriculum; schools will receive teaching and learning materials; heads of schools will be trained on improved school management techniques; and supervision and assessment systems will be strengthened,' he said.

'Ten thousand low-performing basic schools, across the country, have already been selected to benefit from the project, and I am confident that the implementation of GALOP will help drive standards and quality in these schools,' the President noted.

President Akufo-Addo expressed his appreciation to the World Bank and DFID, and reiterated the commitment of his government to the goals of the project.

He outlined the efforts made by his government, to improve access to education.

He said the government had implemented significant reforms to improve access, quality of education, infrastructure, teacher training and professionalisation, curriculum development, school inspection, and technical and vocational education and training.

On improving the welfare of teachers, President Akufo-Addo told the gathering that the government had restored, since coming into office three and a half years ago, and paid up to date teacher trainee allowances, which were abolished by the previous administration.

In addition to the yearly average increase in salaries of ten percent over the last three years, the government is, for the first time in our history, paying a professional allowance to teachers.

The Country Director of the World Bank, Pierre Frank Laporte, speaking on behalf of Ghana's education sector development partners, commended President Akufo-Addo for the sterling commitment shown towards education in Ghana.

He stated that the initiative will ensure out of school children in districts are back to school, and also support the era of the novel Coronavirus distance learning and back to school campaigns, and safe re-entry.

'These interventions will allow the education sector, not only to respond to the future crisis better and faster, but also leverage digital literacy and technology, to improve access to quality education,' he remarked, and added that the project will benefit about 3.5 million students, teachers, and other stakeholders.
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Publication:Ghanaian Chronicle (Accra, Ghana)
Geographic Code:6GHAN
Date:Jun 25, 2020
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