The Social Enterprise Development Foundation (SEND Ghana) has asked government to seek more funds to sustain gains made in basic education in deprived communities under the Ghana Partnership for Education Grant (GPEG).
The organisation noted that interventions such as the Untrained Teacher Diploma in Basic Education Programme, capitation and packages for children with special needs as well as monitoring and supervision should continue to help improve better education.
Ms Harriet Nuamah, Programme Officer of SEND Ghana made the recommendation after a survey conducted by the organisation to assess the effective utilisation of the grant by the Ghana Education Service.
The GPEG in 2012 allocated 75.5 million dollars to the Ministry of Education for the development of basic schools in the country.
This followed a request by the Ministry to GPEG for assistance as part of initiatives to improve quality of basic education in the country, particularly in deprived districts.
The survey conducted by SEND-Ghana was to examine the flow of a grant from national to school level as well as find out whether the fund was used for its intended purposes.
The survey, which was conducted in the Northern and the Greater Accra Regions, revealed that disbursement rate of grant from the Ministry of Finance to the Ghana Education Service (GES) was high, in line with focus of ensuring reliable release of resources to institutions for education delivery.
The findings revealed that there were inconsistencies in releases by GES and funds actually received by some district directorates, in that some directorate received more grants while others received less.
She said according to the GES, the inconsistencies was as a result of quarterly financial reviews undertaken to reconcile actuals with planned expenditures and that directorates which received excess funds were made to refund, while those that were under aid were given top up funds.
The findings also revealed that the funds had led to improvement in planning, monitoring and the availability of teaching and learning materials has contributed to enhancing school governance, and reducing teacher absenteeism.
The Programme Officer of SEND Ghana said the findings revealed that school performance in basic education certificate examination continue to be low with girls performing below average.
She said the poor performance was as a result of inadequate teachers and mass promotion of pupils.
Ms Nuamah recommended that district education directorates and schools should prioritise budgetary allocation and spending on neglected areas such as ICT, guidance and counselling system for girls to assist pupils to understand the essence of education.
“In promoting the integration of children with special needs into mainstream education, GES should take advantage of funding opportunities such as GPEG to increase resource allocation for the provision of assistive devices that enhance teaching and learning for children,” she added.
Mr Emmanuel Bedzrah, Chairman of the Committee on Government Assurance commended the organisation for the survey, adding that the figures give an empirical evidence of what transpires on the ground.
He said the issue of poor performance in basic schools need to be looked at holistically especially with the promotion of head teachers.
He said promotion should not be based on long service alone but more importantly the ability of the head teacher to be innovative in developing strategies to improve results.