Summary and Lessons of the Mid-term Conference

Enhancing Educational Quality and Outcomes in Africa: Research Findings and Implications for Educational Policy

Ghana conference

Ghana conference

The Educational Quality and Outcomes Conference was held in March 10- 11, 2009 at University of Ghana, Legon. The conference was jointly organised by RECOUP- Ghana and EdQual- Ghana.  The overall aim of the mid-term conference was to disseminate research findings to policy makers and key stakeholders in the education sector.  The conference was a success and had excellent attendance, with an average of fifty-two participants attending on each of the two days.  Participants and presenters came from across the research, academic, policy making, donor sectors and civil society. The main participants came from the Ministry of Education which included the Chief Director, and Head of Planning, Budgeting Monitoring Evaluation Division. There was donor representation from the World Bank, JICA and USAID. Participants from the academia included the Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast and lecturers from Cape Coast and the University of Ghana. Civil society was represented by the Ghana Education Campaign Coalition (GNECC) and Forum for African Women Educationalist (FAWE). The three RPC’s on education in Ghana RECOUP, CREATE and EdQual were present. RECOUP and EdQual were represented by both Ghanaian and International researchers from AFC and UK universities. Media came from the Ghanaian Times, the Daily Graphic, Sky Television and Sky FM.

One of the major outcomes of the conference was the admission that the conference was very helpful in providing relevant information for educational policy makers and practitioners. The participants recommended that a similar conference should be organised on a yearly basis. The proposed annual conference titled “Education Research and Policy Conference in Ghana’.  The purpose of the proposed conference will include identifying and encouraging regular collaboration, shared learning and dissemination of research.

The Chief Director at the Ministry of Education was highly impressed with the outcomes of the conference and requested that RECOUP and EdQual present their findings to the Minister of Education in the near future. The Ministry also requested for a conference to be held for the special schools with pupils and students of different abilities and disabilities so that their “voices can be heard”, the cost of which will be born by the Ministry of Education.

Several key conclusions and recommendations which arose from the two-day conference included: the need to address the bridge between school and employment through an integrated approach between the Education and, Youth and Employment ministries to create structured routes for skills development and employment, plus the continued promotion of skills development. Secondly, the orientation and training of rural and deprivation-sensitive teachers in Universities and Teacher Training Colleges to tackle under-resourced and poor quality teaching in rural schools. Also to be noted was the recognition of the shift in educational policy from pupil attendance, to school management and governance in order to meet the MDG targets of universal education and gender parity and to improve quality of teaching and learning in the classroom. A commonly occurring theme was for the strengthening of links between the community and the school for more participatory development. A final conclusion was for increased efforts for multi-disciplinary approaches in educational policy-making from economists, educationalists and sociologists alike.

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