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Gov’t and GES gambling with Ghana’s future – Baskin Africa

A policy think tank, Baskin Africa, has accused Ghana Education Service and the Ministry of Education of gradually crumbling the sector with policies that have not been carefully considered.

Baskin Africa fears the crisis may take years to reverse if key stakeholders continue to sit on the fence.

The concerns come after the announcement by the Ghana Education Service (GES) of a new academic calendar for public schools.

There have been protests by the major teacher unions which have vowed to kick against the semester-based calendar announced by the government.

A statement signed by Executive Secretary of Baskin Africa, Issifu Seidu Kudus Gbeadese noted with concern the threat to Ghana’s future leaders following the ad-hoc interventions that have seriously compromised the quality of education while parents are confused about the system being run by the government at the basic and secondary level.

“As at now, there is no policy clarity as to the type of calendar the public basic schools are to use for this academic year. This mostly confuses parents and key stakeholders in the education sub-sector. The worse case is that planning is disjointed and monitoring and evaluation become very difficult,” part of the statement read.

Below is the full statement;

GOVERNMENT OF GHANA MUST BE CONSISTENT WITH POLICIES IN THE EDUCATION SUB-SECTOR.

In view of the decision of the Ghana Education Service to re-open Public Basic and Second Cycle Schools, Baskin Africa has observed with concern that, the Government’s inconsistencies in terms of policy decisions in the education sub-sector is hurting the very fibre of education in Ghana.

Indeed, the fibre of education is built around primary education so, if a government intends to build a strong education as the backbone for the overall development of the country then, it must be doing so at the pre-tertiary level. “As of now, there is no policy clarity as to the type of calendar the public basic schools are to use for this academic year.

This mostly confuses parents and key stakeholders in the education sub-sector. The worse case is that planning is disjointed and monitoring and evaluation become very difficult.” It is trite knowledge that critical stakeholders like parents, teachers and school managements are mostly left out in the policymaking process with only politicians left to make politically convenient decisions.

There is the need for buy-in from all these stakeholders in order to ensure policy assurance, acceptable and continuity. To get this the government must adopt an expanded consultative approach in its policy decisions than the current take-it-or leave-it approach as though Ghana is being ruled by a Monarchy. Again, the subventions (ie capitation grants) meant for these basic schools are not forthcoming, and this is affecting the smooth administration of these schools.

Meanwhile, school heads and management are not allowed to bill parents for basic services like conducting the end of term examinations. This has rather rendered these heads and management ineffective. Quite worrying is that, due to intimidation and the seeming culture of silence which have taken over the system, the management of these schools cannot speak to the challenges they go through.

Could it be the reason the government has issued a timetable to implement the semester schedule instead of the current trimester schedule for the basic school? We wish to draw the attention of the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service to the fact that, their actions are creating a deep ditch in the education sub-sector which will affect the sector in the long run.

It is our hope that the Government of Ghana and its allied agencies in the sector, will heed to the many calls from key actors in the sub-sector, for effective consultations and workable policies to be designed and implemented in order to create room for policy continuity should another government be formed in the future.

Thank you -Signed

Issifu Seidu Kudus Gbeadese
Executive Secretary-Baskin Africa
0244198031

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