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As far as most Ghanaians can remember, this country has been proudly referred as the Giant of Africa when it comes to education. The appellation was earned by virtue of Ghana’s exploits when it comes to education. However, the country is fast losing the respect, not only in Africa but across the globe. The factors responsible for this are not far-fetched : introduction of outmoded policies and concepts, Government’s failure to complete projects initiated by the previous administration, hasty implementation of policies among others.
The state of our education under the current administration can easily be explained by the fraction of budgetary allocation invested in the sector, disbursement and management of the resources. The Mahama administration recognised the importance of investing prudently across board -from the basic level to the tertiary.
The administration ensured that all the levels (basic to tertiary) received their share of the budget for education to take care of activities and programmes. In 2013, the Mahama administration committed a whopping 31 percent of National Budget to education as against Nigeria’s 8 percent in the same year. The fund was prudently shared across and it formed the basis for the growth we witnessed in the education between 2014 and 2016.
Speaking at a lecture series organised by the NDC at the University of Cape Coast on the state of education in Ghana, former President Mahama advised Government to engage stakeholders to fine-tune its educational policies.
He urged the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) to accommodate views and suggestions of seasoned educationists and other stakeholders on education to sustain the gains made in the sector and also ensure improve the Free secondary school education policy.
What we need to focus on is the disparity in education opportunities created by this administration’s outmoded policies and development across board. The introduction of the Free secondary school education should not undermine growth in the basic and tertiary level.
Poor funding of education at the basic and tertiary levels is the nucleus of the current protest and agitation by the academic staff of our universities and the basic school teachers. At the basic, vocational/technical and tertiary levels in the country (under Akufo-Addo), funding has not been any better. This, expectedly, had impacted negatively on the quality of education in the country.
Like every other segment of society, the handlers of our educational system have not demonstrated enough transparency and accountability. It bears no mentioning that only when funds allocated to the sector is judiciously appropriated would the impact on the sector be felt. The former President reaffirmed his support for the Free secondary education which was started by his administration and his party’s plans to engage stakeholders to fine tune the programme.