Hurray! The Institute for Educational Planning and Administration (IEPA) is two years old as a UNESCO Category II Centre of Excellence for West Africa. In celebrating this feat, the Institute takes the opportunity to reflect on what has been achieved so far and most importantly, look into the future, strategising to achieve its mandate and maintain its lead in capacity building, research and innovation, and the provision of technical support in the areas of educational planning, administration and leadership.
On 12th November, 2020 the Government of Ghana and UNESCO signed an agreement to establish IEPA as a UNESCO Category II Centre of Excellence for West Africa, then on 16thJune, 2021, IEPA’s new status was duly launch by the Minister of Education.
As a UNESCO Category II Centre of Excellence for West Africa, the IEPA is to mandated to achieve four key strategic thrusts. Firstly, to build and strengthen capacity of educationalplanners, administrators, and leaders in the West African Sub-region. Secondly, to supporteducation ministries within the West African sub-region to undertake sector-wideplanning, policy development and implementation. Further, to undertake cutting-edgeresearch, consultancy and promoting innovation in education service delivery towardsthe attainment of the Education 2030 Agenda and finally to create a platform for discussionof topical issues in education and provide policy advice to Ministries of Education of MemberStates.
To achieve its mandate as a UNESCO Category II Centre, the IEPA has over the past two years been working assiduously towards set strategic goals. Instrumentally, the IEPA has organised numerous capacity building workshops for all its staff to expose them to 21stCentury Skills and other competencies. Additionally, it collaborated with key partners such as the Asia-Pacific Centre of Education for International Understanding (APCEIU) to organise a number of capacity building workshops on Global Citizenship Education (GCED) in Ghana and to explore how best GCED can be effectively implemented in Ghana’s educational curricula. IEPA has also collaborated with the Cape Coast Metropolitan District to train school Heads in the Cape Coast.
In the area of cutting-edge research, the IEPA, in partnership with the Centre for Global Development (CDG) is undertaking a research project dubbed PREPARE (Partnership for Research on Progress and Resilience in Education). PREPARE is a COVID-19 response project which seeks to investigate COVID -19 education policies in Ghana, Malawi, Senegal, Kenya, and Pakistan. The project commenced on 1st February 2021 and is expected to end in December 2022.
Again, IEPA is collaborating with T-TEL (Transforming Teaching, Education and Learning), Universities of Toronto and Oxford on a study on the “Impact of delivery approaches on implementation of education policy reforms in Ghana”. This project, codenamed “DeliverED” spanned the period January, 2022 to November, 2022. IEPA was also appointed the Ghana partner on the Education Commission’s Innovative Pedagogy Project (IPP) aimed to increase political will, action, and knowledge of the importance of implementing adaptable, inclusive, engaging, and playful pedagogies in the educational system.
In line with creating a platform for discussions of topical issues in education, the IEPA instituted the monthly webinar series where accomplished educational experts in the field of planning, administration and leadership bridge the theory and practice knowledge gap by presenting on educational topics and themes enriched with practical experiences. Resource persons proffer practical applications to bridge the knowledge gap in the application of theories in the educational sphere. Further, the IEPA has developed a radio programme dubbed “SDG4 Drive” which provides a platform for IEPA to unpack key research findings, the gaps identified and the recommendations offered for implementable actions towards the achievement of SDG 4.
With all these results, it therefore came as no surprise when the Director-General of the Institute for Educational Planning and Administration (IEPA), Dr. Michael Boakye-Yiadom, was appointed by the President of the Republic of Ghana as the “National Convenor” for the 2022 United Nations/UNESCO Transforming Education Summit (TES) of the United Nations General Assembly. The role of the National Convenor was to support the Ministry of Education to provide leadership for a successful planning and implementation of the Transforming Education Summit’s (TES) Pre-Summit in Paris in June and the Main Summit in September in New York City. He was also responsible for conceptualising, planning, organising, executing, monitoring, preparing and presenting the final outputs of national consultation(s) on the five thematic thrusts of the TES.
Asked the way forward for the IEPA, the Director-General of IEPA had this to say: It is humbling and exciting as an Institute to achieve this much in its two years of operations as a UNESCO Category II Centre. However, there is still much more to be done. Going forward, the IEPA is extending its scope of work to capture the West African sub-region now that COVID-19 restrictions have eased. Come IEPA as a UNESCO Category II Centre at five years, I am optimistic that we can pat ourselves by saying that we have contributed towards effective and efficient educational planning, administration and leadership, and eventually improved educational outcomes in the West African sub- region.
Congratulations to the IEPA on your second anniversary as a UNESCO Category II Centre of Excellence for the West Africa Sub-region. Chalk up many more success on your journey to achieve excellence.
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