The Minister of Education, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, says government is using various interventions to recover learning losses occasioned by the COVID-19.Additionally, he said the government was also working at leapfrogging inequality to enable the education system to stand the test of time.
Dr. Adutwum was contributing to the topic: "Bridging resilience: New ways of thinking about learning and education systems," at the recent two-day Global Education Summit in London in the United Kingdom (UK).
The two-day summit, co-hosted by the UK Government and Kenya in London, was attended by in-persons and others who joined virtually.
It sought to raise at least $5 billion, for the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) to give 175 million children from developing countries the opportunity to learn.
Dr. Adutwum mentioned the introduction of lessons on television and radio for basic schoolchildren as well as the online, virtual learning and the I-Campus for secondary and tertiary students, and the distribution of printed learning materials to children in rural areas as some of the interventions being employed.
Additionally, the minister said the government was embarking on a robust educational system by equipping teachers and certificating school administrators to make them better managers.
He acknowledged the fact that there were already learning losses, and that the COVID-19 had come to exacerbate them, stressing that the gap had to be closed, adding, "we must make sure that the existing gap is close."
"We need a double-step approach to bridge the gap," he said, adding that if there was anything the COVID-19 had taught Ghana and the entire world, it was that things that were taken for granted could no longer be assumed or presumed.
"We, as a nation, and the world, have to know that learning can take place at anytime, anywhere and therein lays the need to build resilience, so that we can get to a point to acknowledge that learning can take place anywhere and not just in a classroom," Dr. Adutwum said.
He said the COVID-19 pandemic was a wake-up call to the world to accept that learning should be able to take place outside the classroom.
Dr. Adutwum asserted that the realisation had dawned on the world that education and COVID-19 were going to be strange bedfellows as "we cannot continue to shut down schools forever in the midst of the COVID-19."
Dr. Adutwum said "what we need to do right, we need to do it to make education the requisite agent of transformation. Education should be at the front and centre of our development process."
He said the COVID-19, though a pandemic, had created the best opportunity to revolutionise learning by adopting technology.
Dr. Adutwum was happy that the COVID-19 had become a great tool that would help him to be the "best education minister," because he did not have to go convincing people as to why more investment is needed to be channeled into education.
Contributing to the topic, the Founder of Rekindle Learning and Chairperson of Imagine Worldwide, a South African-based organisation, Madam Rapelang Rabana, said the COVID-19 pandemic had exposed the vulnerability in the education system.
She said the COVID-19 exacerbated the inequality in the educational journey where children in the rural areas could not access the technology.