Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you for your attention. Once again the erstwhile NDC administration is at it again with their diabolics aimed at painting the NPP led government black. Before Pre-Colonial Gold Coast was informal education (apprenticeship and subsistence living). However, the introduction of formal education came about as a result of service to the elite class. It was for a selected few–most especially the rich and those who could afford it. Article 25 (1)(a), (b), (c), (d) & (e) of the 1992 Constitution clearly spells out the need to promote educational rights for the people of Ghana. Article 25 is the basis of free compulsory education initiated by the Kufuor administration, NPP, and free SHS et al initiated by the Nana Addo administration, same NPP.
Today’s REVELATION, ladies and Gentlemen, is on the new school uniforms introduced by the Education Ministry. Ordinarily, one would hail the government for such a good initiative. The introduction of new school uniforms for all public lower secondary schools is one of the reforms introduced by the Education Ministry amidst the introduction of new academic curriculum inter alia. However, the uniform has been singled out leaving out the whole reformation. It is regrettable why the opposition NDC party would whine over what parents and school children appreciate. It is now clear that, their priority is not about education but to create, loot and share. More reason why Ex. President Mahama (aims to cancel free SHS) is against the free SHS. Something the international community had adviced that we invest more into.
Education as a tool for economic development is something alongside industrialization you cannot take out from economic planning if a nation is to prosper. It is not surprising why the NPP led administration had invested hugely in the educational sector–a principal approach towards the Sustainable Development Goals. The government of Ghana had secured $1.5billion GETFund long term financing to improve upon the infrastructural development in the educational sector. On Free SHS alone, since its introduction, government had spent nearly Ghc2.284billion (Ghc 484m, 2017; & Ghc 1.8billion, 2018); and per projections, government is spending Ghc3.3billion on Free SHS in 2019. Government is done with arrangements to build 20 modern TVET (Technical and Vocational Education and Training) schools.
Ladies and Gentlemen, in 2017/2018 academic year, capitation grant was increased from Ghc4.5 to Ghc9.0 (100% increment); 70% of B.E.C.E registration fee was absorbed by the government; school fees of 113,622 day students and 239,431 boarding students were absorbed by the government (Budget statement, 2018). Ladies and Gentlemen, these are what the opposition NDC party is supposed to talk about. Reforms they lacked the moxie to introduce (because to them nothing is possible).
Ladies and Gentlemen, no government in the history of Ghana had invested hugely more than the NPP led government. To achieve SDGs 4, 5 & 6, we have introduced GALOP (Ghana Accountability for Learning Outcomes Project); STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) to boost the pretertiary education; 4Rs (Reading, wRiting, aRithmetic, and cReativity) to upgrade pre-secondary before every child completes primary 6; we have reviewed the curriculum for Kindergarten and Primary 1-6. In 2018, 8,738 whiteboards were supplied and installed in several schools to replace the chalkboards; iBox educational portals and solar panels were installed in 125 schools. This year, 2019, we aim to do more.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the idea behind the introduction of new uniforms (since it came into effect in the 1980s) is to differentiate the JHS 1-3 from the basic level (class 1-6). Government as an investor has set out to repackage the basic level (together with lower secondary school). The aim is to make it attractive to investors. No wonder parents choose private schools over public schools due to stigmatization. Going forward the reforms must necessitate other changes. So the need to change the ‘kokonte and nkatie’.
Ladies and Gentlemen, for government to provide quality education it needs to give the public schools a facelift. For over 30years since the introduction of these old school uniforms, it is not out of place if new uniforms are introduced to instil a sense of seniority and discipline in the basic school level. A situation where juniors have little recognition for the attire because they wear same with their superiors. In 2018, the ministry of education supplied 49,179 sets of furniture and 480,000 uniforms across the country. For Senior high Schools, 68,851 set of furniture; 472,730 P.E Kits; 39,496 technical drawing instruments; 6,145,490 exercise books; 218,804 each of mathematics, integrated Science, Social Studies, and English books together with 352,040 supplementary books were all supplied in 2018. In 2018, 52 collapsing school structures were rehabilitated; etc etc etc. Let’s ask the opposition party why in our quest to achieve a better educational sector, they abandoned the ‘Model School Project’ implemented by the Kufuor administration in 2003-2008?
Ladies and Gentlemen, in conclusion, we have done what has never ever been done since Ghana was born. We have saved students from languishing at home. In 2017, FSHS enrollment was 361,771; 490,882 in 2018, a 36% increment as compared to 2017. The double track school calendar was temporary introduced to meet the increasing demand for the FSHS. 400 schools were captured to absorb the excesses. First intake under the double track was 181,000. As at October 30, 2018, 484,743 students on both the green and gold tracks were enrolled. This, according to the international community, was a form of outside the box thinking.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the facts and figures carefully enumerated above clearly indicate the massive investment and spending attitude the NPP led government has for the educational sector. These are not propaganda or rhetorics but real facts. The government of Nana Addo is committed towards transforming the Ghanaian educational sector for sustainable development. These show the level of committed at which government has for the education sector. So far so good. We are achieving our goals. No more time to waste on the opposition. Thank you
These facts and figures were all taken from the budget statement 2017, 2018, 2019 and from the ministry of education.
Dome Kwabenya, NPP