Strengthening Education and Learning Systems to Deliver a 4IR-ready Workforce in Ghana

October 30, 2022
Ghana has been classified as a lower middle-income country since 2010, with the GDP growth rate varying from 14 percent in 2011 to 2.2 percent in 2015 and 6.5 percent in 2019. The population continues to grow at a rapid rate and is projected to reach 37.9 million by 2025 from 27 million in 2014. However, this growth has not been accompanied with rapid job creation, particularly for the youth, with the youth unemployment rate standing at 16.9 percent in 2015. Out of the 200,000 entering the labor force annually, only 20,000 secure jobs in the formal sector making it imperative for more young people to have the skills and knowledge to create their own innovative and productive jobs.
Ghana’s education system and policies need to be strengthened to ensure that skills relevant to the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) are taught, especially at the secondary level. These essential skills include foundational literacy and numeracy; digital skills; entrepreneurship; science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM); and soft skills such as communication and leadership that will enable young people to engage in and create innovative jobs.

These are some of the findings from the Youth Employment and Skills study Strengthening Education and Learning Systems to Deliver a 4IR-ready Workforce. The study also finds that for the education system in Ghana to achieve its goals, it has to prioritize quality education for teachers themselves and systematic support for their professional growth. Although teacher training policy stresses that curricula shall be competency based, the reality is that current curriculum and assessment methods for teacher training are highly exam focused, with little room for the development of good teaching skills. The curriculum is congested and does not focus on key skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and digital literacy and is disconnected from the curricula taught in schools. Another finding is that female role models can help to increase female uptake of STEM and technical and vocational education and training (TVET), and that having more trained female teachers has a positive effect on enrollment and learning outcomes.

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This study is part of a six-country project on Youth Employment and Skills (YES) and the changing nature of work. The project examines education and training systems and their ability to adjust to meet evolving labor demand in light of rapidly evolving digital technologies and the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). The six countries are Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Niger, Rwanda, and Uganda. The project evaluates the policies, regulations and institutional arrangements aimed at boosting educational outcomes and employment opportunities, especially job creation using innovative education and training initiatives.



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