Prince Hamid Armah
PhD Mathematics Education
From Aberdeen to Ghanaian MP
Your Time at Aberdeen
Why did you choose to study at Aberdeen?
My decision to study at Aberdeen was based on the rigorous nature of its PhD programme, its multi-cultural environment, the strength and quality of its academic staff as well as the support systems available to foreign students, especially those from the developing world.
Why did you choose your particular course?
I was convinced the programme could offer me better opportunities in the field of education policy, research and mathematics education.
What did you most enjoy about your time at Aberdeen?
I finished and defended my PhD thesis within the three years’ supervised period.
If you were involved in any clubs and societies as a student, what did you enjoy most about them and what benefit do you think they have for students?
I enjoyed working with colleagues to broaden learning conversations among PhD students.
Did you hold any student leadership roles, e.g., Class Rep, Club Treasurer, Social Convenor?
I was the Representative of the PhD Research Students Group at the SoE and I led the first ever Annual PGR Students in Education Conference in 2013. I also led the setting up and running of the Education Research Students Seminar Series (ERSSS), which has become an integral part of the SoE's training for PhD students.
If talking to a group of prospective students, what advice would you give them to help them make the most of their time at the University of Aberdeen?
I would tell them about the multi-cultural environment that characterises the Aberdeen community, where scholarship is intertwined with engagement, innovation, collaboration and creativity.
Your Time After Aberdeen
What was the title of your first job after graduating from Aberdeen?
Research Consultant at The World Bank/Government of Ghana.
What did your first role involve?
Conducting research on Mathematics and Science achievement in low performing secondary schools in Ghana.
What is your current job title?
Member of Parliament (MP) for Kwesimintsim Constituency in Ghana.
What is your current role?
I represent the people of Kwesimintsim in Ghana’s House of Parliament, with constitutional duties including making laws that are important to the people of Ghana and the constituents of Kwesimintsim and conducting inquiry and scrutiny into bills, statutory instruments and social policy issues. I am also Vice Chairman of the Parliament's Education Committee.
Describe the journey from your first job after graduating to where you are now.
While I was still at Aberdeen, I founded the Institute for Education Studies (IFEST) (formally VIAM Africa, UK), a social and education policy think tank to pursue system accountability in Ghana. Founding IFEST was significantly instrumental to the journey, helping me set up a development consultancy firm, Greenfield Education Group, in 2016, to guide both local and international clients to solve complex education sector challenges. Subsequently, I signed my first contract with The World Bank through the Government of Ghana to assist the Ministry of Education to identify and investigate the factors that facilitate and impede learning of Math and Science in senior high schools in Ghana. I have since consulted for several projects funded by national and international organizations including the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), UKAID/DFID, United Nations Education Commission, Open University (UK), Oxford Policy Management (UK), PricewaterhouseCoopers (Ghana) Ltd, Ministry of Education/Ghana Education Service, the National Teaching Council, Colleges of Education. Through my consulting work, I made several key contributions to the evolution of education policy in the country in recent years. For example, I served on the technical team that completed the finalisation of the Government of Ghana’s Education Strategic Plan (2018 – 2030) and the associated Education Sector Medium-Term Development Plan (2018-2021). I was also the lead education consultant to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (previously Department for International Development) Partnership Beyond Aid programme which drew up a thorough plan for Ghana’s transition to self-reliance through improvements in economic and social sector management, quality service delivery, financing, accountability and capacity building. I believe it was these contributions I was making that led to my appointment as the Director General of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA), by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to lead the design and implementation of a total reform of Ghana’s national curriculum, learning and assessment systems at the pre-tertiary levels. While undertaking these duties, I was also involved in several community interventions in Kwesimintsim where I was born, and that led to calls to run and subsequent election as Member of Parliament.
Was your degree at Aberdeen essential for getting to where you are now? If so, in what way?
Yes. I pursued a PhD in Mathematics Education in Aberdeen University where I specialized in curriculum, pedagogy and education policy. The requirements of all the jobs I have executed or currently undertake with international institutions or with the Government of Ghana (Ministry of Education/ Ghana Education Service) require one to have expertise or competencies in either curriculum, pedagogy or education policy.
One Top Tip
Dream. Believe. Commit. Persevere. Achieve.