Dr. Armah Proposes National Qualification Framework For Education Sector

Dr. Prince Hamid Armah (middle) and other participants at the forum

Member of Parliament for Kwesiminstim in the Western Region, Dr. Prince Hamid Armah is advocating for the establishment of a national credit and qualification framework.

According to him, the challenges facing the existing educational system are a result of the sector’s lack of credit and qualification framework.

“The importance of having a national qualification framework is to ensure that there’s transparency and accountability in the qualifications that people possess and how they can transit from one sector of the academic ladder to the other,” he said.

Dr. Armah was speaking at the Pan Africa Students Conference: Ghana 2022, held at the Pentecost University College, Accra.

The legislator who doubles as the Vice Chairman of the Education Committee in Parliament said a national qualification framework will breed transparency and accountability concerning students’ qualifications.

“So, for example, if you are a TVET or a technical vocational person who wants to transition into general education, it must be seemingly easy for you to do that whether you studied in Nigeria or another African country. It must be very easy for you to navigate from one qualification to the other,” he said.

However, has said that was not the case, indicating that the situation has resulted in students being stagnated in terms of academic choice.

“If you study the first degree, first year at Pentecost University and you want to travel to Nigeria the question will be, will you be able to continue from the second year from the course you were doing in Ghana …it’s not possible… in fact, in Ghana in time past people who had HND and wanted to do degree had to start from level 100.

“So, what the qualification framework does is to recognize that a piece of learning has taken place which is then quantified and converted into a credit or number which can follow you wherever you want to move to,” Dr. Armah noted.

He also mentioned that the national qualification framework in the quest will need a ‘whole national credit and qualification authority that will be responsible for credit transfer.’

“Well-structured countries that have qualification systems also have qualification authorities and so one of the key policy changes that we will require is to decouple the qualification evaluation, certificate evaluation and create a whole national credit and qualification authority that will be responsible for credit transfer because it’s a huge business on its own, that cannot be left under a unit of an agency.”

He, therefore, recommended that the West Africa Examination Council, (WAEC) the Ghana chapter be converted into the Ghana National Credit Examination Authority responsible for credit and qualifications for the pre-tertiary level.

On mobility challenges facing international students in the country he said the continent’s policy space is not conducive to fostering student mobility.

“Students in Africa are struggling in terms of mobility not only on immigration issues but because of policy imperative of credit transfer, policy imperative of qualification evaluation. So, every country is working in silos,” he said.

“The impact of student mobility is so much that it can even have an impact on our economic development. In terms of human resources, when people study abroad and decide to stay there, the knowledge they acquire is kept there to the benefit of that country. But if we can evolve, not only Ghana qualification framework but also a continental qualification framework, then it becomes easier for people to flexibly crisscross Africa in their academic pursuits,” he added.

He, therefore, urged policymakers across Africa to conceptualize these mobility problems as an African problem and create solutions, which will aid in the eradication of the problem.

The conference dubbed “Bridging the educational engagement gap: Immigration and inter-cultural dialogue”, had global dignitaries such as Deputy head of mission, Embassy of Algeria, Atmane Boudjemia, Ambassador for Suriname, H.E Fidelia Graand-Galdon, and Director of Community Education and Youth Development, Dr. Akosua Abdallah gracing the event.

By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri