The Ghana National Education Coalition Campaign (GNECC) is appealing to the government of Ghana and the Ministry of Education to pay particular attention to basic school development.
According to the Coalition, basic education experienced about a 40% decline in budget allocation in 2023 as compared to 2022.
The information available to civil society organizations (CSO) indicate that the majority of public schools in Ghana still do not have access to textbooks to support teaching and learning in the classroom.
An independent audit conducted by GNECC on school infrastructure in 2021, shows that about 80% of basic schools’ infrastructure is in a very poor state whilst most classrooms are overcrowded.
GNECC made this statement during the occasion to celebrate this year’s International Day of Education where it draws
government attention to the fact that some school children continue to sit on the bare floor to learn due to the absence or inadequacy of school furniture.
GNECC is there calling on the government to redirect some of the resources to the Senior High Schools such as the intended distribution of free tablets to students at the SHS level to strengthen basic education.
The Coalition said strengthening basic education will provide Senior High Schools with students with quality learning outcomes from the basic level.
“We are also using the opportunity to call on the government to engage all key stakeholders to review the Senior High School policy implementation,” the group stated.
In a statement released and signed by the National Coordinator of GNECC, Ms. Bernice Mpere-Gyekye reminds government of Ghana to address the current challenges facing the education system.
According to her, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo made some commitment during the Transforming Education Summit in the UN that 23% of the National Budget will be allocated to education.
“GNECC as a mouthpiece of education in Ghana wishes to remind the President and the education ministry of this commitment and we are looking forward to its reality.”
The statement added that the government’s 12.9% budgetary allocation to the education sector in the 2023 national budget although indicates an increase as compared to last year’s allocation, still falls below the target Ghana has set for itself in 2021 during the Global Education Summit held in the United Kingdom where the president pledged to spend at least 23% of the national budget on education over the medium term from 2021 to 2025.
“This pledge was repeated in Ghana’s National Commitment Statement that was presented at the 2022 Transforming Education Summit, so It is important to remind ourselves as a country of the need to fulfil these commitments that signify our collective efforts towards the achievement of agenda 2023.”
In view of the above, GNECC is of the view that there is a need for a solidarity pact going forward to translate commitments into action and strengthen the capacities of policymakers and implementers including teachers to transform education to that of the 21st century.
“We need to rally around a concrete accountability mechanism that will monitor Ghana’s transformational commitments in the form of national SDG 4 benchmarks and drives concrete progress around the themes that emerged from the Summit,” the statements revealed.
As we join the global community on this special day to celebrate education worldwide, GNECC is calling on the government and other key stakeholders to prioritize the following two key areas; adequate resource provision for basic schools and inclusive education.
On inclusion, the Coalition said 0.02% of the 29.7% of the 2023 education budget is allocated for the implementation of inclusive education in 2023.
This in the view of the Coalition is inadequate for the effective implementation of the inclusive education policy that would ensure the achievement of the SDG 4 targets which is Leaving No Child Behind.
It added that assistive devices and braille materials which are expensive for learners with Special Educational Needs should be made available for these learners with disabilities at a cheaper cost.
To promote the effective implementation of the inclusive education policy, GNECC is calling on the government to redeem its pledge at the 2018 Disability Summit in the UK to allocate 1.5% of the education budget for the effective implementation of the inclusive education policy.
“We want to remind the President of his promise and commitment to allocating 23% of the National budget to Education and the urgency in looking at the budget allocation for Basic and Inclusive education.”