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Improve delivery of quality education – Africa Education Watch

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Improving the delivery of quality education was only possible by strengthening the governance framework in education management, an African Education Watch (AEW) report has said.

The report recommended among others that, Ministries of Education should introduce clearer and more robust rules for school record-keeping and conduct more frequent inspections to ensure that these rules were respected.

The recommendations were tabled at a final stakeholders meeting on Transparency International (TI) contribution towards solving the problems in primary education in Africa in Accra on Wednesday.

Mr Vitus Azeem, Executive Secretary of Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), a subsidiary of TI, said the three-year programme was implemented simultaneously in Ghana, Morocco, Madagascar, Niger, Uganda, Senegal and Sierra Leone and documented reviews of annual budgets, sector reviews and strategic planning documents.

He said the programme was aimed at identifying the effectiveness of local accountability mechanism in the education sector with regard to controlling them.

The report said governments should clarify and publicise the roles and responsibilities of sub-national agencies, particularly with regard to financial transfers, control and support to schools, so that schools knew what funds they had to work with and enable them track them accordingly.

It noted that schools should also publish financial information clearly and transparently, taking into account the literacy levels of parents adding that Ministries of Education and civil society should invest in training to ensure that school managers and parents had the capacity to administer and oversee budgets.

“There should also be widespread public campaigns to make parents aware of their rights, including the fact that school fees are illegal. Civil society should organise programmes to educate and promote parental and local community participation in school management”, the report said.

Mr Azeem noted that the research went beyond findings and went on to train some personnel on best practices in the field of work to reduce corruption.

On the Capitation Grants, the report called for improvement upon its operations to pick up enrolment and build capacity of School Management Committees and that of the Parent-Teacher-Associations and make them part of school management.

Minister of Education, Mr Alex Tettey-Enyo admitted that there were inequities and efficiencies in the sector and commended the TI for the initiative adding that the findings and recommendations would be incorporated into the 2010-2015 Education Strategic Plans.

The Ghana Education Service (GES), he said, would have to revise an effective means of handing over notes to new administrators because what pertained now was either very poor or not done at all from persons leaving their post.

Prof. Dominic Fobih, Ranking Member of Parliamentary Select Committee on Education, said it was time to correct the lapses and changes in the educational system should be gradual.

He warned teachers saying “as much as politicians should not interfere in the transfer of teachers, teachers should also not engage in active politics while on the field.”

Some stakeholders called for accountability and transparency in the sector and noted that it should start from the top hierarchy of the GES down to enhance efficiency as well as improve working conditions especially that of those in rural areas and address the delay of salaries of newly trained teachers.

A decade ago, the structure of primary school administration in Africa started to change from a centralised bureaucracy to a more decentralised management approach.

The aim was to bring education closer to the ‘user’, and to give citizens at the local level particularly parents a greater stake in management.

The change coincided with the Education for All target of achieving 100 per cent enrolment of school going age children by 2015.

The goal of TI’s AEW project is to assess whether these new management systems were effective and whether they control corruption and accountable to their constituents.

Source: GNA

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