The Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition (GNECC), a civil society organisation, has called on the government to renew its pledge to allocate 1.5 per cent of the national education budget to promote effective implementation of the inclusive education policy.
According to the Coalition, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo gave the pledge at the 2018 Disability Summit held in the United Kingdom.
Mr Thomas Benarkuu, the Bono East Regional Coordinator of the GNECC, made the call in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at Jema in the Kintampo South District of the Bono Region as the world marks the 2023 International Day of Education.
The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 24 January as the International Day of Education to highlight the role of education for peace and development.
Globally, the day is being celebrated on the theme “to invest in people, prioritize education”, and calls for maintaining strong political mobilization around education and charting the way to translate commitments and global initiatives into action.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has dedicated this year’s celebration to girls and women in Afghanistan, who have been deprived of their right to education, calling for the immediate lifting of the ban restricting their access to education.
Mr Bernakuu, who is also the Director of MIHOSO International Foundation, an NGO promoting education, health and community development, said basic education experienced about a 40 per cent decline in budget allocation in 2023, as compared to 2022.
He said it was unfortunate and worrying “the majority of public schools in the country still do not have access to textbooks to support teaching and learning in the classroom,” saying “only 0.02 percent of the 29.7 percent of the 2023 education budget is allocated for the implementation of inclusive education in 2023.”
Mr Benarkuu added budget remained woefully inadequate for the effective implementation of the policy that would ensure the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal Four (SDG4) target.
The SDG4 target pushes nations around the globe to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all,” by 2030.