The new curriculum requires learners to acquire six essential competencies which the GES itself needs as well to function properly and provide the needed leadership. The MoE is also not above these qualities and will do itself a lot of good if it can also learn to acquire them.
Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving (CP)
Leading the Education sector of our dear nation demands that leaders at the GES and MoE have Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving (CP) skills.
The mess in the school placement, the GES-SIC insurance bruhaha and other issues tabled by teachers in a recent strike action could have been avoided if those in leadership had employed more critical thinking and problem-solving (CP) skills aimed at resolving these bottlenecks.
These challenges needed critical scientific and logical analysis to help reach the best solution which will be a win-win situation.
This way the GES and the MoE would be able to demonstrate to stakeholders that have learned from the past challenges and have evolved better solutions and ways of handling issues such as the school placement system for example.
Sadly, the ministry and the GES were unable to use their past experiences to analyze the likely situation, choose the most appropriate out of a number of possible solutions.
They were unbaled to handle the problem at hand, persevere and take responsibility for their own actions. No wonder they were running away from commenting.
Creativity and Innovation (CI)
Another key competence the GES wants learners of today to acquire is Creativity and Innovation (CI).
This is very laudable however, the GES for instance, has remained non-creative and lacks innovation is the way problems are solved and the service is handled. The typical one size fits all bureaucratic systems and old fashioned ways are still pervasive even where technology has been introduced. The importance of creativity and innovative ways of delivering service is important if the Ghana Education Services is ti remain relevant. The GES believes that learners to be able to develop technologies for addressing problems and also think of new ways of solving problems.
GES and the Ministry of Education’s new way of solving the annual school placement wahala was shambolic, worse than the previous systems ever used. Oen can confidently say that the GES lacked the needed ingenuity of ideas, arts, technology, and enterprise to whether the storms when they needed it most.
Communication and Collaboration (CC)
Communication and Collaboration (CC) is also another amazing core competence that the Ghana Education Service and its major new curriculum stakeholders deemed important. All learners are expected to acquire these skills.
However, can the GES and the Ministry of Education say boldly that, they have this pair of competences? The communication channels have been clogged with unwarranted noise from within.
Information that should be made known officially find their way into the system unrefined only for GES to come and do damage control. Teachers’ ID card issues and data are all over on the internet today with no one to clarify the issues.
Today every suggestion from the teachers is taken with less seriousness and complains for poor communication by teachers and other stakeholders are ignored. It is always the top-down approach and nothing else. Some even hold the view that the Minister is “arrogant” How can the GES succeed in its quest to drive change into the education sector and achieve the desired transformational agenda for our education sector when it lacks the ability to collaborate and communicate effectively.
Cultural Identity and Global Citizenship (CG)
Cultural Identity and Global Citizenship (CG) is another excellent core competence Ghanaian children are to acquire under the new curriculum. Learners are expected to develop good and acceptable levels of patriotism, put their nation first in all things and their service to the nation. Has the GES for instance demonstrated this quality and consistently? How do we inculcate these values into our children when we ourselves do not possess these attitudes and values. People are in leadership position and are corrupt but expect the learners to be patriotic.
Promotions, teacher postings, and nearly every service that teachers needed come with the need to pay their way through if they want things done the right way.
The GES has tried to identify global trends yet when we identify them, implementation is always a big problem. The new global trend we identified is the new curriculum. Sadly, we do not have textbooks to help teachers do their work. GES and MoE expect teachers to perform magic in the classrooms without the requisite resources. Global trends require that ministers of education are people with knowledge of the education sectors who are academicians to man such an important institution however in Ghana we have a medical doctor leading our education sector. What else do you expect in such a system?
We need to overhaul our way of thinking, lead by example at the GES and show commitment to the values we want to inculcate into school children by practicing these competences
Personal Development and Leadership (PL)
The leaders of the Ghana Education Service is already in leadership positions just as those at the MoE. But life is an endless learning curve that ends only in the grave. Leadership must continue to improve on their leadership competencies and develop how they deal with issues. Proactiveness, respect for follows and bringing them along in the quest to achieve strategic goals is important if they would put their shoulders to the wheel. Positive leadership influence is key to having the needed impact, growth and success in leadership.
The GES and MoE need to learn more and cooperate with other people ie Teachers, have strong emotional intelligence and take responsibility. Lead by example, be self-regulating and responsible by watching what they put out there and what they communicate to teachers in the most heated moments. Good PR is key in leading such institutions and showing leadership is not all about positional power but competence.
This is a humble appeal to the GES and the Ministry of Education that, they should work at improving the critical thinking and problem-solving skills of staff, embrace creativity and innovation as we work hard to help our learners acquire same in the learning environments in schools.
They should also improve their communication and collaboration activities because they need them more now. They should build a cultural identity that is proactive so stakeholders can identify with their cultural identity. This will make them global citizens who are implementing best practices to the letter. Finally, their personal development and leadership skills and qualities must be sharpened to deliver on the job. If they are lacking it, they should organize simple less expensive but fruitful leadership training workshops to acquire leadership skills and learn leadership behavious are propounded by Kouzes and Posner among others so as to help transform the educational sector. It is possible.
Source: Wisdom Eli Kojo Hammond | Budding leadership expert |Educationist and Author |Newsghana24.com