Failure in accessing quality education due to successive governments – Group

Mr Kofi Asare, Executive Director of Action for Rural Education (ARE) on Thursday attributed the failure in accessing quality basic education in the Kindergarten (KG) and basic schools to the bad policies of successive governments.

The attention given to KG education by successive governments has led to a decline in the quality of KG education, he said, adding that “three hundred thousand children, representing 38 percent of children aged 4 to 5 are denied of enrolment in KG education each year due to the absence of KGs in 1,168 public basic schools, especially in rural areas”.

Mr Asare said this at the ‘Political Parties conference on Civil Society Education Manifesto’, an event organised by Child’s Rights International with the support from ARE, the implementing Partner, and with funding from STAR Ghana.

The event, which is under the auspices of STAR Ghana’s Education Agenda 2015 project, is aimed at helping to insulate educational policies and plans from unnecessary political interference by developing and advocating the implementation of a civil society manifesto on education.

The project also seeks to advocate political party’s commitment to implementing the education strategies plan (2010-2020).

Presenting a paper on “Improving Kindergarten Education in Ghana: Perspectives from the 2012 Civil Society Education Manifesto”, Mr Asare said only 62 per cent of children aged between 4 and 5 in rural areas are compelled to enrol directly in primary one, at age six.

This, he said, denies children the opportunity for cognitive and psychosocial development which are very vital in enhancing their building blocks for literacy, numeracy and problem solving skills.

He said though the Global Education Report revealed that a child’s success in life begins in its early childhood years, investments in this direction has not had a positive impact on primary school enrolments.

Mr Asare said there is the need to build more KG’s and train more teachers to prepare pupils adequately for examination and called on the coming government not to only maintain the current 3-year duration of secondary education but also up-grade and expand secondary school infrastructure.

He said teachers must be motivated to enhance their deliveries in schools so that they can adequately prepare pupils for examination.

Mr Prosper Kwao, Deputy General Secretary of the Peoples’ National Congress, said the PNC would take education to the best level by increasing the allocation of funds that goes into basic education infrastructure to 45 per cent as well as increasing support for non-formal education.               Mr Kwao said the PNC would abolish all unapproved admission fees charged by secondary schools and provide a 60 per cent subsidy on feeding fees.

Mr Abdulai Fuhlaba, Deputy General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), said as part of his party’s effort to ensure quality education, the party would introduce the “Teacher First Policy” that would focused on raising the support and quality of teachers through training, professional development and improved incentives.

This, he said, would attract younger professionals into the teaching profession and that the NPP is fully committed to making secondary education free for every child.

Source: GNA

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