Actionaid Ghana has raised concern about the outlook for basic education, with an average annual expenditure growth set at only three percent.
According to the Country Director, John Nkaw, the continuous reduction in the funding for kindergarten education has affected access and quality of public basic education.
He said the Ministry of Education’s budgetary allocations set out in its Medium-Term Expenditure Framework for 2021-2025, the budget for kindergarten activity, for example, was reduced by 95 percent, from 817.8 million cedis in 2020 to just 43.6 million cedis in 2021.
He also said the current expenditure rate of 0.25 percent is just a fraction of the 15 percent target set by the Ministry in its Early Childhood Education policy document.
The situation, Mr. Nkaw said, is affecting access to education and development since a greater part of the basic education budget goes into compensation with little to invest in infrastructure.
“If these budget cuts are not reversed, it will significantly reduce early school readiness and exacerbate existing inequities within the education system”, he stated.
He further said, “While the education sector has suffered resource constraints and policy implementation challenges, lack of adequate infrastructure has been found to limit school access and quality in Ghana”.
“The government must begin to see education, especially at the basic level, as a right, so that the poor are not left out in the increasing trend toward privatization of the basic education system”, he urged.
Mr. Nkaw made the remarks at the handing over of a KG and Junior High School block at Amanfrom and Ata-Ne-Ata, near Hwidiem in the Asutifi South District of the Ahafo Region.
With a population of about 6,000, the two farming communities have only two government-funded basic schools with deplorable infrastructure and inadequate classroom furniture.
According to Abugri Adabogo, a teacher at Amanfrom DA School, the situation affects teaching and learning.
To enhance early childhood readiness, ActionAid and their partners put up a two-unit model KG block and a three-unit JHS block stocked with furniture and ancillary facilities, such as mechanized borehole and playground with equipment, for pupils of Amanfrom and Ata-ne-Ata.
The Country Director of Actionaid, John Nkaw, at the handing-over ceremony, witnessed by the district chief executive, chiefs, and people of the communities, said the conducive school environment they have provided should lay a good foundation for a better future for the children and further urged the District Assembly to take the necessary steps to shore up the number and quality of infrastructure available for basic formal education.
He appealed to the District Education Directorate and all other stakeholders to ensure that the facility is properly maintained and managed by trained teachers.
The headmaster for Ata-ne-Ata JHS, Obed Amoah Awuah, said the facility means a lot to them, especially the female students.
He said the changing room attached to the school would offer the girls the space and privacy to change themselves during their menstrual periods.
Since 2001, ActionAid has constructed 10 model KG schools with recreational facilities, five teacher accommodation blocks, six school blocks in the Asutifi North and Asutifi South districts, and a six-unit school facility for the Bechem School for the Deaf.
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