The $1.2 million World Bank grant for digital literacy would be channeled towards resourcing impoverished basic schools located across the country, according to Minister of Education Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum.
He stated that the funds would be used to improve the learning environment by providing furniture and teaching and learning resources.
Dr. Adutwum went on to say that as a condition precedent to the World Bank disbursing the grant, the Ministry of Education funded the teachers’ digital literacy project with its own funds, and that the funds could be used to improve infrastructure in basic schools, including those described as “schools under trees.”
“I was able to complete the job at no expense to the government.” “I’ve taken existing resources and leveraged the government’s investment in the one-teacher, one-laptop project to do something that hadn’t been done before I took over,” he added.
Yesterday, Dr. Adutwum spoke with the Daily Graphic Editorial Conference, a gathering of editors and gatekeepers convened by Graphic Editor Kobby Asmah.
The minister was accompanied by the Technical Advisor and others.
The minister had called for the second time to speak with the Editorial Team.
He also paid a visit to G-Pak, a printing subsidiary of Graphic Communications Group Ltd that is now printing government textbooks.
The minister also paid a visit to Ato Afful, the Managing Director of the GCGL, where he underlined that the government will work with the Junior Graphic to guarantee that the newspaper was distributed to all primary schools.
The teachers’ digital literacy project, according to Dr. Adutwum, is planned to train 40,000 teachers in digital literacy, triggering a World Bank release of $1.2 million under the Ghana Accountability for Learning Outcomes Project (GALOP).
He did, however, say that he carried out the initiative by utilizing an existing federal educational platform rather than paying for the creation of a new platform, which would have cost the government around $200,000.
More than 41,000 teachers were trained in computer literacy as a result of this, he said, emphasizing that the $1.2 million from the World Bank remained secure and sound.
Project Financing Changes
According to Dr. Adutwum, the World Bank’s project finance has altered dramatically.
“Due to corruption, it has chosen in recent years not to hand over a pot of money and say, ‘use it to do this or that.'” So it’s ‘Resource let funding,'” he explained.
He further stated that in the case of teacher IT training, the grant was related to the debt.
Before the $1.2 million was disbursed, the World Bank completed due diligence, according to the ministry.
“From Washington, DC, the World Bank logged onto the website, double-checked everything, and was happy. The UN International Children’s Fund (UNICEF), as the primary developing partner in Ghana, was then requested to form a team of IT professionals to double-check it.
“They, too, went over the entire platform, double-checked the numbers, and then signed off on the project.” “And $1.2 million was paid up to us on April 19, 2022,” Dr. Adutwum stated.
The Daily Graphic sought independent confirmation of the minister’s claims from the World Bank Country Office.
The World Bank confirmed that under GALOP, funds were only given if pre-agreed and independently verified results were met.
The World Bank said in a response provided by Eunice Yaa Brimfah Ackwerh, Senior Education Specialist, Africa Region, that the Ministry of Education provided details of the number of teachers trained in distance learning methods, which were verified by the Development Partners’ Group and accepted by the World Bank.
“As soon as this confirmation was received, the funding was disbursed. Ms Ackwerh stated, “The World Bank remains committed to supporting Ghana in its efforts to improve education for everyone.”
Ghana Education Service
The minister also revealed that the Ghana Education Service (GES) had been in charge of school monitoring, including private schools, until recently, but that new educational reforms, which were backed by legislation, had formed some new bodies that had taken over those tasks.
“When it comes to school supervision, the National Schools Inspectorate Authority is now in charge” (NaSIA). Professional development and teacher training used to be handled by the GES, but currently they are handled by the National Teaching Council (NTC). The Curriculum Review and Research Division (CRRD) of the GES was in responsibility of curriculum review and development, but that job is currently handled by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA),” Dr Adutwum stated.
He said it was the legal structures that had mandated that all those functions be taken away, not that the minister wanted to be over-assertive.
Mr Asmah expressed appreciation to the minister for the visit and expressed the hope that it would further deepen the relationship between the ministry and the GCGL.
He appealed to the minister to keep his doors open for the GCGL for timely and accurate information on the ministry and its works.
“We are going to knock at your door every step of the way and engage you because your sector is very important in the architecture of this country. If this nation would do very well, your ministry would lead the way,” he said.
Mr Asmah added that the Daily Graphic and its sister publications were ready to partner the ministry to make the educational sector chalk up more successes.