Acute shortage of textbooks hit Tain, Banda districts
It said the shortage affects all textbooks required, but of particular concern were English Language, Mathematics and Integrated Science textbooks.
The appeal was made at a Stakeholders’ Education Annual Review forum jointly organised by ActionAid Ghana and SODIA (Social Development and Improvement Agency) at Nsawkaw, in the Tain District of Brong-Ahafo Region.
ActionAid is an international Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), promoting the rights of the vulnerable, especially the rights of women and children, whilst SODIA is its local partner at Nsawkaw.
The review on the theme, “Right to Quality Education – a Collective Responsibility,” was attended by 105 participants, including heads of departments, traditional and opinion leaders, selected Junior High School (JHS) students and members of the Network.
It reviewed the progress of education, particularly, the performance of basic education for the 2012/2013 academic year.
The Network comprises executives of PTA’s in all basic schools in Tain and Banda Districts. It was formed in 2010 and started operations in 2011, when the Banda District was then part of Tain.
Presenting a report on Right to Quality Teaching and Learning, Mr Paul Amo, a Teacher and Secretary of the Network, said the pupil and student population out-numbered the available textbooks in the schools.
He said the situation was serious because English Language, Mathematics and Integrated Science were core subjects that determined the qualification of JHS students to the next level on the educational ladder.
The report revealed that the two districts had 4,195 pupils but had only a total of 1,441 English Language textbooks, 1,462 Mathematics textbooks and 1,228 Integrated Science textbooks.
It said a total of 914 students at the JHS level had only 308 textbooks for Science, 379 for English Language and 338 for Mathematics.
Mr Kwame Afram Denkyira, Programme Officer of ActionAid Ghana at the Brong-Ahafo Office in Sunyani, reiterated that it was ActionAid’s quest to work with stakeholders from more than the 15 communities in the Tain and Banda Districts to ensure that “rights of children to quality education are respected”.
He noted that education was key to economic productivity and political stability of any country, saying that, quality training for a healthy, well-informed and empowered youth would help transform families, communities and nations.
Mr Denkyira said ActionAid had decided to invest in the youth because the basis for their contribution to the socio-economic development of the country depended on education.
The Programme Officer said the youth constituted more than half of the total Ghanaian population and “we can no longer do without their intelligence, imagination and talents”.
Nana Patrick Doni Dikro, Deputy Director, Finance and Administration, Tain District Education Directorate urged the PTA Network to offer the necessary assistance to organise in-service training for pupil teachers in the Districts to enable them to apply the appropriate teaching methodologies for quality education.