The newly sworn-in Deputy Minister for Education, Rev. John Ntim Fordjour, has said that he is poised to serve Ghana and the Assin South Constituency most conscientiously as he is sworn in his new capacity.
“I’m grateful to the Lord Most High for His exceptional favor, and to His Excellency the President of the Republic Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for the confidence reposed in me. In humility and poise, I do accept the responsibility to serve my country and constituents conscientiously. So help me God!” he posted on his social media handles shortly after the swearing in.
He and 38 other deputy ministers were sworn into office by President Akufo-Addo on Friday evening.
“I set out on a political pursuit to serve the good people of Assin South… Now, duty calls and I’m privileged to serve the entire nation at the instance of the President. I’m indeed grateful to President Akufo-Addo for the confidence reposed in me,” Ntim Fordjour who is also Member of Parliament for Assin South noted.
A second term member of parliament, Ntim Fordjour will serve as one of two deputy ministers to the substantive Minister of Education Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum. He additionally serves on the Appointments Committee and Foreign Affairs Committee of the 8th Parliament. In the 7th Parliament, he was Chairman of the Ghana – Canada Parliamentary Friendship Association, and also served as Vice Chairman of Parliament’s Standing Committee on Members Holding Offices of Profit. He also served on the Foreign Affairs Committee in the 7th Parliament. In 2019, he was appointed as member of the Governing Board of Ghana Integrated Iron and Steel Development Corporation (GIISDEC), and subsequently became the Acting Board Chairman for corporation.
Ntim Fordjour who is a mineral engineer with a bachelor’s degree in Mineral Engineering from the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT), also has multidisciplinary background in economic policy management and foreign policy. He holds a Master of Arts Degree in Economic Policy Management from University of Ghana, Legon and a Postgraduate Certificate in Governance and Anti-Corruption Methods from Georgetown University, Washington D.C. He is currently wrapping up his PhD studies in Political Science (Foreign Policy Specialisation) at the University of Ghana. He is a reverend minister and serves as Senior Pastor of the Victory Bible Church International (VBCI) Higher Heights Sanctuary at East Legon. In his previous life, Ntim Fordjour served as Human Resources Superintendent for Gold Fields Ghana Ltd, Tarkwa Mine, where he successfully managed the human resources functions for a mine of 4,500 employees.
At his vetting before Parliament’s Appointment Committee last month, Ntim Fordjour staunchly defended the NPP government’s Free SHS policy as a phenomenal pro – poor initiative that is greatly transforming the education sector. “When the population is highly educated, it will be on the path of development. I have always been enthused about investments in free SHS. Many students are having access to quality education now,” he noted.
He said the key objectives of the Free SHS programme including access, equity, quality and relevance have been achieved to a large extent over the last 4 years. “All these 4 pillars are aligned to the attainment of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 which is on access to quality education for all,” he observed.
“Access has been increased from 800,000 to 1.2 million; cumulatively 1.6 million enrolment. In terms of equity, there was 30% allocation to elite schools for students from public schools. That has ensured that a girl from a village like mine has access to Aburi Girls… The outcomes speak to the fact that the objectives are being achieved and we must sustain it,” Ntim Fordjour noted. “It is not to any political party’s credit. It is a real need that has been addressed,” he added.
Ntim Fordjour is hoping to draw on his expertise as economic policy analyst and engineer to support Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum to sustain Free SHS policy and to drive the education transformation agenda of President Akufo-Addo, particularly, expanding access to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education. “Every policy cycle has in itself monitoring and evaluation and formative reviews such that the objectives would have to be kept on track and deviating parameters are kept on track… So, we will continue monitoring so that any feedback that needs addressing, will be addressed with alacrity,” he said.
“I will support my minister Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum to build a solid education system and make Ghana the education hub of Africa,” Ntim Fordjour assured.