Coalition Demands An End to Politicizing Ghana’s Education Problems

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Mr Bright Appiah
Mr Bright Appiah

The Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition (GNECC), has called for an end to the politicisation of educational issues in the country.

Mr Bright Appiah, the Chairman of GNECC, said the excessive politicisation of education issues must stop because in the end it was the child who suffered and not the politicians playing their games.

He noted that the best interest of the child must be the key consideration in the formulation and implementation of policies and not political tactics.

Speaking at the national launch of the Global Action Week for Education (GAWE) 2018, Mr Appiah said the Ministry of Education (MoE) needed to be more accountable for the formulation of effective policies and overseeing their proper implementation.

The weeklong celebration, which is being organised by the GNECC is on the theme; “Strengthening Citizen Participation and Accountability in Education Management: A Milestone for Achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Four”.

The GAWE is an annual advocacy campaign organized to raise awareness about critical issues in education that require priority attention, and to advocate for urgent action and commitment of targeted resources to address such issues.

Mr Appiah said the Ghana Education Service (GES), National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, National Teaching Council and other agencies under the MoE must be strengthened to undertake their mandate effectively and should be held to account for the responsibilities they have been charged with.

He said even though access to basic education had increased considerable there were still a lot of challenges – inadequate resources, unsafe school environments, poor leadership, to mention a few – which needed to be tackled with a sense of urgency.

Mr Appiah said: “We believe that in order to achieve the SDGs, there is a need for more openness and accountability among all stakeholders – the international community, government, teachers, schools, parents, students, civil society and businesses – because education is a shared society endeavour and a shared responsibility”.

He said the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), Ministry of Finance all had critical roles to play in the delivery of quality education and must be held accountable for their roles.

He said teachers and other education workers who were in direct contact with students were critical stakeholders in the sector,” indeed without their hard work and sacrifice they would all not be here.

“It is important that teachers and other education workers are accountable because if a teacher does not show up or refuses to teach when children are in school, it constitutes a violation of the child’s rights, and a waste of scarce resources, which could have been applied to other productive uses.

“Resources allocated to the education sector have to be used more effectively and efficiently in order to justify the significant amount of resources that is being invested into education annually,” he said.

He said civil society remains a driving force for transparent monitoring of and reporting on education, including financing, helping to ensure that financial resources were used efficiently and equitably.

He said nonetheless, NGOs, CSOs, religious bodies, private institutions and other non-state actors must also be accountable for their contributions to education development in Ghana.

He said the situation at the pre-tertiary level was currently chaotic; declaring that “either there are no regulations or enforcement is so weak leaving room for exploitation when education is recognized as a fundamental human right by the 1992 constitution”.

Mr Appiah said the GNECC was working with the MoE to address the issue of duplication and inadequate accountability within the CSO space.

“It is our expectation that efforts to restore sanity within the sector will be extended to other areas as soon as possible,” he said.

Dr Esther Ofei-Aboagye, a former Director of the Institute of Local Government Studies, who chaired the function, urged the Government to ensure that the councils and governing boards for colleges of education in the country were constituted.

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