The All-Africa Students Union together with a coalition of local and international civil society organisations and development partners with interest in education have petitioned the Parliament over the need to increase investment in public basic education to improve quality.
The petition delivered on November 17, to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Education forms part of broader advocacy toward the Education Spike Campaign with the aim to promote investment in public basic education to improve quality, as commercialization continues to adversely affect access, equity and standards in pre-tertiary education.
In a statement issued by the group including Coalition Against Privatization and Commercialization of Education (CAPCOE), OXFAM, National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS), and Africa Education Watch, they observed that quality basic education has increasingly become the preserve of private schools, a situation which they say leads to “an inevitable demand for private education and low demand by citizenry for public education”.
This, the group believes that raises critical concerns for equity and access to quality education.
The group prior to converging at the Parliament House in Accra engaged in consultative meetings with the Ghana Police Service for necessary permission in conformity with relevant local laws to embark on a peaceful placard-holding event at the entrance of the Parliament House.
Participants held placards with inscriptions ‘#DoNotCutOurFuture’ as an appeal to the state to do more to ensure the future of all especially the underprivileged who are getting priced out quality education.
At the Parliament House, the group was received warmly by the Education Select Committee led by Chairman Kwabena Amankwa Asiamah.
He lauded the group for their efforts and assured them that education issues were of utmost importance to the government.
On his part, Deputy Ranking Member on the Committee, Clement Apaak also assured the group of Parliament’s commitment to considering the recommendations outlined in the petition.
Speaking on behalf of the petitioners, President of the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) Nana Boakye Yiadom also expressed his appreciation to Parliament and stressed the essence of education as a social leveler and hence the need to ensure that especially poor people are not left out of quality public education.
In a related development, the All-Africa Students Union and other partners including the Global Students Forum comprising all continental student unions also released a statement on the occasion of International Students Day on November 17, reiterating the need to consolidate gains made in education by increasing investment, strengthening access and ensuring quality. In all these, the All-Africa Students Union continues to prove itself as a leader in students’ rights and education policy in Africa.
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