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Ghana’s education system doesn’t build literacy effectively – Human Capital Index

Ghana’s education system doesn’t currently build literacy effectively, as students can go through school without learning basic foundational skills in reading, math, science and so on according to the Human Capital Index (HCI) of the World Bank released yesterday.

The findings are similar to a A UNESCO report on education published in 2012 which shows that a large population in Ghana can’t read a sentence after leaving school four years earlier.

It also indicates that Ghana accounts to 4.4 per cent of accumulated total aid to education in sub-Sahara Africa. The country received $1.6 billion at constant prices in 2015.

The World Bank launched its Human Capital Project in Bali, Indonesia as part of the broader global effort to help countries make more effective investments in people.

“The aim of the Index is to support long-term, measurable progress toward better outcomes in education, health, nutrition, and social protection,” the Bank says.

The HCI has been measured for 157 countries including Ghana.  The HCI provides a very important composite measurement and can be viewed as a baseline for benchmarking our targets on learning, the Bank says.

According to the Bank, the Index titled, Facing Forward: Schooling for Learning in Africa, highlights the true crisis in basic education in sub-Saharan Africa and considers lessons from African countries including Ghana on the commitment to Sustainable Development Goal 4-Quality Education: which indicates that by 2030, all learners will acquire knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development.

The report compares countries along the lines of: Student Progression; Teachers; Budgets, and Capacity Gaps.

The report among others notes that vast population growth is expected, and most African countries are at the “pre-demographic dividend” stage, with total fertility rates (TFRs) of four or more. Many countries have TFR above five, it says.

The report points out that between 2015 and 2030, primary enrollments will grow from 178 million children to about 268 million children—50 per cent increase in 15 years.

Children in lower-secondary will more than double, (53 to 108 million over the same period), and therefore, recommends expansion while sustaining past learning improvements and absorbing students from disadvantaged social backgrounds.

The report also recommends investments in early – quality pre-primary, because it is critical, especially in order to develop non-cognitive foundational skills. It notes also that early Childhood Education can interrupt the low skills equilibrium improving schooling, jobs, and even earnings and urged the government to align curricula, teacher training, materials and assessments around goal of foundational skills for all.

The report further called on the government to recognize inequality in learning opportunities –  for instance cases where disadvantaged children attend schools that are also disadvantaged.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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All rights reserved. This report or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in reviews.

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