The Executive Secretary of the Institute for Education Studies (IFEST-Ghana) Dr Peter Partey Anti has told the managers of Ghana’s education to provide the needed budgetary resources to the Ministry of Education, especially for basic education.
For him, there is a need to strengthen basic education because quality at the secondary level is mostly dependent on what is produced at the basic level.
Dr Partey Anti indicated that at the moment, basic education does not receive the required budgetary support, a situation he said requires immediate attention.
“We need a redirection of the policy in terms of allocation. We need to feed the basic level with the needed resources so they can feed people into the secondary level,” he said while speaking at a Media General-Star Ghana organized Thought Leadership Forum on Financing of Basic Education in Ghana on Thursday, November 9.
For his part, the Executive Director of the Africa Education Watch, Kofi Asare said that the 2024 budget statement to be presented by the Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta should cater for the textbook deficits in junior high schools.
He revealed that some basic schools do not have enough textbooks to aid in teaching and learning.
“On the tracking of textbooks in basic schools, while the textbooks are not adequate, they represent a significant improvement from the baseline.
“65 percent of textbooks required in the four core textbooks at the primary level, Maths, English, Creative Arts and Science, are available in our schools. 35 percent of the textbooks are not available.
“There are distribution issues, so, some districts have more than they need, and some districts have less than they need. So apart from the distribution we need the remaining 35 percent.
“In our meeting with the Minister of Finance two weeks ago, we indicated quite clearly that we want to see the deficit of the textbooks being budgeted for by the Minister of Finance in this year’s budget,” he said while speaking at a Media General organized Thought Leadership Forum on Financing of Basic Education in Ghana on Thursday, November 9.
Also speaking at the same forum, a Professor at the University of Ghana, Jonathan Fletcher, said that he does not believe that financing of education should be left in the hands of the government alone.
He says that in order to achieve Goal 4 of the Sustainable Development Goal (SGD) which states that “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all,” all stallholders must come board to support education financing.
He stated that “we know of the District Assembly Common Fund, we know of the MPs Common fund, MMDCE’s IGFs and Getfund.
“Should it be the sole responsibility of any government? In addition to these, we need to look for other sources. In other countries, individual philanthropists and communities come together, families and households come in to support.
“We should see education as an all-hand-on-deck affair to achieve Goal 4, government alone can’t do that.”
Prof Fletcher further proposed that managers of education should pay close attention to inequality.
“Inequality in education, we need to look very carefully, if education will be free and compulsory, children in cities and urban areas go to school and children in rural areas unable to go. Let us look at that.”
By Laud Nartey