Ghana took another leap in the development of its human resource base on Tuesday when Parliament took the Pre-Tertiary Education Bill, 2019, through the Second Reading.
The Bill, when passed, would ensure that every Ghanaian child obtains a minimum of secondary education to enhance the human resource capacity of the nation.
The general objective of The Bill is to provide for a pre-tertiary educational system to produce individuals with the requisite knowledge, skills and values to become functional and productive citizens for national development.
It would also establish a Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Service and provide for related matters.
The establishment of a dedicated TVET Service is to oversee and manage the sector’s education, together with other measures proposed in the Bill, to make Ghana’s pre-tertiary education system more inclusive, focused and efficient for the benefit of all.
The Bill is made up of two parts and a schedule.
Part One of the Bill (Clauses 1 to 54) provides for a system of Pre-Tertiary Education, which is made up of eleven years of basic education and three years of secondary education in either a senior high school or a TVET institution.
It provides for the establishment of the Education Service as a body corporate and deals with various issues relating to the system of Pre-Tertiary Education and the Education Service.
Part Two of the Bill (Clauses 55 to 95) establishes the TVET Service as a body corporate and covers all matters relating to it.
The Schedule provides for the list of TVET institutions currently under the Ministries, Departments and Agencies, which are to be absorbed into the TVET Service.
Clause Six of the Bill establishes the Education Service as a body corporate with the object of providing coordination and harmonisation for the effective and efficient delivery of basic and senior high education in the country.
The Education Service, as established under the Bill, shall among others, be responsible for coordinating standards and direction for the effective and efficient implementation of approved national policies and programmes in respect of basic and senior high education.
It would monitor all funds allocated for the delivery of effective and efficient basic and senior high education, and advice the Minister responsible for Education on financial, human resource, policy, infrastructure, logistics and other relevant matters relating to education.
It would also exercise jurisdiction in matters of discipline over personnel at the District and Regional Education Directorate.
Pre-tertiary education is deemed a critical phase in education delivery since it marks the foundation for the preparation of students to enter the tertiary education stream for further academic pursuits.
Given its importance, there is the need to ensure quality education delivery at this stage as any deficits could seriously affect the performance and ability of students to progress to the tertiary level.
It is for this reason that part of the educational reforms introduced by government is aimed at ensuring effective management and supervision of pre-tertiary schools.
The reform has a further objective of re-organising TVET into a distinctive unit under a designated Service to ensure effective and efficient performance.
It is against this background that Government introduced the Pre-Tertiary Education Bill, 2019 in Parliament.