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‘I was away for personal reasons’

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Vice Presidential Candidate in the 2020 election, Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang has provided reasons for her absence at a meeting organised by Education Minister, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum.

In May 2021, Dr. Adutwum invited all former Education Ministers to a meeting aimed at trading ideas on how best to improve the country’s educational system.

Prof.  Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, who is a former Education Minister, was not present at the meeting.

A number of people have questioned why the educationist did not show up, with some even speculating that her absence was deliberate and politically motivated.

But in an interview with Woezor TV, Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang said the invitation came a bit too late.

“I was invited. In fact, I got a phone call from [the Education Minister’s] office and I agreed that they bring the letter. They didn’t state a date during the conversation. I saw the letter here on Thursday and the meeting was going to be on Monday.”

Prof. Opoku-Agyemang further explained that she had already scheduled an equally important personal engagement on the day of the meeting.

“I was going to be out of town. The meeting was on the 10th of May but the [day before; 9th] was mother’s day and I had chosen to spend the day at an orphanage in the Western Region for very personal reasons,” she disclosed.

The meeting 

Eight former Education Ministers of Ghana attended and pledged to use their wealth of experience to support the current Minister in improving the sector.

Present were Mr. Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Ms. Betty Mould-Iddrisu, Professor Dominic Fobih, Dr. Ekow Spio-Garbrah, Ms. Joyce Aryee, Professor Ameyaw Ekumfi, Paapa Owusu Ankomah and Dr. Christiana Amoako Nuamah, who joined the discussion via Zoom.

The former Ministers, who took turns to speak, said bringing people with diverse expertise to bear would go a long way in getting the best strategies and ideas which, when harnessed, would push the nation’s development agenda forward.

The occasion also created an opportunity for them to interact and share ideas on how to facilitate the improvement of the nation’s education sector.

Among the matters raised by the former ministers were the issue of discipline on the part of teachers, as well as the need for improvement in supervision in schools, to ensure that teachers stay in school and teach.

They also had concerns about parents’ limited interest in the education of their children, which they believe affects their output.

Some former ministers also raised concerns about the current system, which makes it very difficult for teachers to be disciplined by their immediate superiors.

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