The government has been called upon to embark on an intensive enrolment drive for children of four years and above for all to be in basic school to ensure that no child is left behind in education.
Mr Joseph Azam Makido, Project Officer, Advocacy and Legal Advice Centre, who made the call, said even though basic education was free, many children of school-going age were still out-of-school hence the need for an aggressive enrolment drive to address the situation.
He said there was the need for government to collaborate with other stakeholders to ensure that children four years and above were enrolled in basic school to address the existing enrolment gap.
Mr Azam Makido was making a presentation on behalf of SEND – Ghana on the 2018 Budget analysis forum in Tamale, organized by the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG) with support from OXFAM International.
The forum formed part of the Democratic Governance in West Africa project, which aims to support advocacy activities by partnering with civil society organizations (CSOs) and government to sustainably tackle inequality and contribute to a fair and equitable redistribution of public resources.
It was attended by representatives from public and private institutions including, labour unions and CSOs, and it analyzed and discussed the 2018 budget, narrowing on budgets allocated to the sectors of health, education and social protection and the extent to which it addressed inequality.
Mr Azam Makido also called on government to ensure that funds allocated to the education sector were fully disbursed on time to strengthen the management systems of schools and Directorates of Education to implement all pro-poor interventions such as capitation grant, examinations subsidy amongst others.
Touching on the health sector, Mr Azam Makido called on government to come out with a clear funding plan for the National Health Insurance Scheme to ensure its sustainability.
He also spoke about the country’s social protection programmes calling on government to expand the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty Programme from its current 213,000 beneficiary households to the 550,000 targeted beneficiaries to help reduce extreme poverty in the country.
Some of the participants expressed the need for the government to ensure prioritization of projects and effective management of resources by blocking all loopholes to ensure value for money.