MATTHEW OPOKU PREMPEH: A Medical Doctor Chalking Historic Educational Reforms For Ghana
The New Patriotic Party’s flagship achievement since President Akufo0Addo was sworn into government on January 7, 2017 has been the Free Senior High School policy, which makes it mandatory that every child in Ghana who qualifies for, and is placed in a public Senior High School for his secondary education will have his or her fees and other educational expenses absorbed by the government.
It is being implemented by the Ministry of Education, under the leadership of Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, alias Napo, who doubles as Member of Parliament (MP) for Manhyia South Constituency.
Napo is one of the Akufo-Addo appointees that have suffered the worst forms of trial-by-media persecutions, mostly engineered by political rivals of his party.
Many believe the attacks are aimed at discrediting his achievements in the Free SHS success story. He has however remained focused and has ensured enrolment figures keep increasing each academic year.
“I will be proud to say one day that our school children are meeting the minimum standards in quality education delivery”, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh has said and he has not hidden his quest to support teachers as key stakeholders in the education dream.
He has explained that the various reforms currently ongoing in the educational sector were meant to improve quality teaching and learning in the country.
“Government’s reforms in teacher education form part of a wider scope of reforms at all levels to ensure that our education delivery system meets the needs of a modern 21st century that produces skilled, confident, competitive citizens to power its industrialization,” he added.
According to Napo, the various reforms are mainly centered on “teacher education because we believe that education reforms would be meaningless without placing the teacher at its heart”.
Matthew Opoku Prempeh is a Medical Doctor by training and was born on May 23, 1968 in Ashanti New Town, a suburb of Kumasi.
Napo schooled at KNUST Primary and later attended Prempeh College both in Kumasi, Ashanti Region. He studied Human Biology and Medicine at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).
In school, Napo, engaged himself in active student politics and was twice the local NUGS President of KNUST. He later had his Master’s degree in Clinical Epidemiology in the Netherlands Institute of Health Sciences.
Dr. Prempeh subsequently served as the Chief Executive of Keyedmap Security Services Limited from 2004 to 2009 and a member of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of the United Kingdom from 1999 to 2003.
He was first elected to Parliament in 2008 on the ticket of the New Patriotic Party to represent Manhyia Constituency in Kumasi, Ashanti Region.
In 2012, the total number of constituencies was increased from 230 to 275 prior to the general election. Manhyia South Constituency was thus created and Dr. Prempeh was elected to represent the constituency in Parliament. In 2016, he was re-elected with 86.17% of the votes cast in the constituency.
He has served on several Parliamentary Committees such as Health, Appointments, Special Budget, and Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation.
He was sworn as the Education Minister of Ghana in January 2017 by the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. In May, 2017, Dr. Opoku Prempeh was named by the President as a member of his Cabinet.
He is a Holy Spirit filled, heaven bound, practicing Christian.
Napo has often said that “Our vision as a nation is to provide relevant education to all Ghanaians at all levels to enable them acquire knowledge & employable skills.