By Ernestina Addo, ASCD Ghana
In a landmark event, the National Education Leadership Institute (NELI) was officially launched in Takoradi, Ghana, on October 6th, 2023, heralding a new era in the country’s educational landscape. The National Education Leadership Institute is in its initial implementation phase and aims to strengthen school and educational leadership. After the cabinet approves, NELI will be the main pathway to developing educational leaders in the Ghanaian educational sector.
The occasion commenced with opening remarks from Mrs. Mamle Andrews, Chief Director at the Ministry of Education, who warmly welcomed esteemed guests, including the Honourable Yaw Osei Adutwum, Minister for Education, and set the tone for an inspiring launch.
Dr. Paul Kwadwo Addo, NELI Coordinator, provided a compelling overview of the institute’s origins. He detailed how an insightful proposal submitted by the Minister of Education to train aspiring and concurrent school leaders evolved into the fully-fledged NELI program. Under the technical advisory of Ghana ASCD, the initiative’s journey began with a strategic summit, uniting stakeholders from across the nation. Thanks to the generous sponsorship from Transforming Teaching, Education & Learning (T-TEL), an inclusive curriculum emerged, encompassing the nation’s educational aspirations.
In his discussion on the Transformation Agenda, Dr. Charles Yeboah referenced John Maxwell’s wisdom: “Everything rises and falls on leadership.” He underscored the profound impact of influential school leaders, highlighting the equivalence of their influence to that of teachers. The NELI team’s vision was clear: to transform education through a pioneering educational leadership program. By utilising a unique approach that integrates online resources, hard copies, and a flipped learning model, the program aspires to cultivate shared leadership competencies across diverse school categories and regions.
The future of the NELI program was passionately discussed by Dr. Boakye-Yiadom, emphasizing the need for sustained efforts. Regardless of political affiliation, gender, or religion, he stressed the importance of garnering support from all sectors. Dr. Boakye-Yiadom highlighted plans for financial
sustainability and the importance of legislative support through collaboration with parliament, declaring unequivocally, “NELI MUST SUCCEED, NELI FOREVER!!!”
In his poignant goodwill message, the registrar at the National Teaching Council, Dr. Christian Addai Poku emphasized the pivotal role leadership plays in every endeavor. His words resonated not merely as a message of support for NELI but as a profound insight into the essence of transformation. According to Dr. Poku, “Effective leadership encapsulates a multifaceted approach, where vision- becomes the compass, strategy the roadmap, motivation the driving force, teams the collaborators, the future- the goal, and people- the heartbeat of change.”
During his program’s inauguration, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, Ghana’s Minister for Education, set a profound vision for the nation’s educational future. He acknowledged key figures, including Nana Ansah III and esteemed education officials, highlighting the need for strategic investment in human capital development. He shared staggering statistics from the National Standardised Test. According to the minister, in 2015, only 2% of primary two students demonstrated proficient reading skills. As of 2022, the National Standardised Test indicated that 62% of students struggle with reading (MOE).
Dr. Adutwum emphasised, “We have to begin to raise a new generation of education leaders who will be interested in learning outcomes and who will lead the charge to ensure that Ghana’s fortune will change.” Urging an end to traditional apprenticeships, he stated, “We can’t depend on this apprenticeship any longer. It has to be a purposeful education for the next generation of leaders. We have to fast track the Wesley Girl’s experience so we can get more effective school leadership, and this is where the National Education Leadership Institute (NELI) comes in.”
Hon. Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, Minister for Education
In an earlier statement about the program, the minister proclaimed, “To achieve a more robust educational system consistent with the 4th industrial revolution, we must integrate relevant academic content with experiences that nurture the skills and mindsets needed to participate meaningfully for socioeconomic transformation.”
During the NELI launch, the Minister reflected on success stories like Abena Nyakrom, Mamfi Methodist, and Ahantaman Girls schools to stress the need for accelerated learning experiences. Driven by the impending opening of new junior and senior high schools, he emphasised the vital role of innovative leaders. With changes in school infrastructure on the horizon, Dr. Adutwum urged the emergence of a new generation of leaders to steer Ghana’s education toward excellence. This vision finds its foundation in the transformative mission of the National Education Leadership Institute (NELI).
As the event drew to a close, Aaron Akwaboah, strategy and innovative adviser at the Ministry for Education, expressed a heartfelt gratitude to all stakeholders and participants. His closing remarks echoed the collective determination to ensure NELI’s success. The ceremony concluded with optimism and shared commitment to the initiative’s goals.
ASCD Ghana Coverage