The Executive Director of Africa Education Watch, Kofi Asare, has stated that funds for the provision of textbooks in junior high schools must be included in the 2024 budget statement to be read by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta.
Mr. Asare revealed that some basic schools in the country lack textbooks to make teaching and learning profitable, and that this is detrimental to the country’s educational progress.
“On the tracking of textbooks in basic schools, while the textbooks are not adequate, they represent a significant improvement from the baseline.
“65 percent of the textbooks required in the four core textbooks at the primary level—mathematics, English, creative arts, and science—are available in our schools. 35 percent of the textbooks are not available.
“There are distribution issues, so some districts have more than they need, and some districts have less than they need. So apart from the distribution, we need the remaining 35 percent.
“In our meeting with the Minister of Finance two weeks ago, we indicated quite clearly that we want to see the deficit of the textbooks being budgeted for by the Minister of Finance in this year’s budget,” he said while speaking at a Media General-organized Thought Leadership Forum on Financing of Basic Education in Ghana on Thursday, November 9.
Professor Jonathan Fletcher at the University of Ghana, who is also a speaker at the Forum, said that the financing of education should not be in the hands of the government alone.
He adds that in order to achieve Goal 4 of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG), which states that “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all,” all stakeholders must come together to support education financing.
He noted that “we know of the District Assembly Common Fund; we know of the MPs Common Fund, MMDCE’s IGFs, and Getfund.
“Should it be the sole responsibility of any government? In addition to these, we need to look for other sources. In other countries, individual philanthropists and communities come together, and families and households come in to provide support.
“We should see education as an all-hands-on-deck affair to achieve Goal 4; government alone can’t do that.”
Prof. Fletcher stressed that managers of education should pay active attention to inequality.
“Inequality in education: we need to look very carefully. If education is free and compulsory, children in cities and urban areas go to school, and children in rural areas are unable to go. Let us look at that.”