PROGRESSIVE PEOPLE’S PARTY

STATEMENT PRESENTED BY THE PROGRESSIVE PEOPLE’S PARTY (PPP) AT A PRESS CONFERENCE TO OUTLINE ITS POLICY ON EDUCATION, “NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND AT HOME” ON THURSDAY, MARCH 22 2012

Ladies and Gentlemen:

The orientation of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) and our core beliefs about the world we live in are Progressive. This means we believe in broad-based human progress that is felt by the people. We believe that under our leadership, Ghana can move from a third world nation to a first world nation by working with a great sense of duty and urgency. We believe in Ghanaian excellence. We believe in Ghanaian prosperity. We believe in all of the Ghanaian people.  We will fight for dramatically accelerated developmental progress. We will fight to move Ghana away from the maintenance of mediocrity, the culture of indiscipline, the constant failure of leadership, the cruelty of resource mismanagement and the tragedy of low expectations for developing African nations such as Ghana. We care about governance that works for all Ghanaian people.

Science, Technology, Education and Math (STEM) will be at the heart of our efforts. Through science, technology, selfless dedication to work and discipline, we will identify, test and implement the policies and programs that will deliver progress to the Ghanaian nation. When the best individuals who can deliver results to the Ghanaian people are at the helm of this nation at the Presidential and Parliamentary levels, Ghana will achieve the transformation that has been denied Ghanaians for so long.

It is for all these good reasons that we have as a party focused our attention to developing a Political Platform that is simple yet powerful.  We begin a journey today to give further explanation and clarification to the ten-point agenda that we presented to our people and the nation at our first National Convention as a political party held at the Accra Sports Stadium on Saturday, February 25, 2012.  Indeed many of our leading members have articulated essential elements of this policy publicly since 2007.  We know this policy, we believe in it and it is part of what makes our party progressive.

We are happy to offer this comprehensive education policy in our bid to transform Ghanaian society within on generation.

  1. A.    Introduction

It is said that “If you think education is expensive, try ignorance”.  Education is a better driver of a nation’s economy than gold, oil, gas and such other natural resources.  Without it our natural resources become huge burdens on all citizens.  A well-educated people tend to be more prosperous as they apply their knowledge and understanding to industry, research and all fields of endeavor in a more productive and profitable manner.  The PPP wants to build a knowledgeable, technology-driven economy with industries that use the raw materials we produce.  We want prosperity in peace and the opportunity to implement an Agenda for Change that is built on four pillars – Stewardship, Education, Healthcare and Jobs.  The PPP’s Agenda stands on the principles of using the spirit of inclusiveness that will enable us to use the best Ghanaians; full participation of women and the youth; and above all a leadership that is incorruptible.  By dealing with corruption, we can double government revenue which we will use to pay for our transformational initiatives in education, healthcare and job creation. It is by the relentless adherence to these principles that we will create a just and disciplined society with a passion for excellence within ten years and with science and technology as the cornerstone, become a higher level middle income country.

 

  1. B.     The Foundation of Our Education Policy is Taken from Ghana’s 1992 Constitution

We believe that the framers of our 1992 Constitution shared our belief that the goal of ensuring an educated and knowledgeable people is not negotiable.  It is for this reason that Chapter Six of the Constitution – Directive Principles of State Policy makes clear the policy to be implemented by government in the area of education.  Section 38 of this Chapter in the Constitution reads as follows:

“38. (1) The State shall provide educational facilities at all levels and in all the Regions of Ghana, and shall, to the greatest extent feasible make those facilities available to all citizens.

(2) The Government shall, within two years after Parliament first meets after the coming into force of this Constitution, draw up a programme for implementation within the following ten years, for the provision of free, compulsory and universal basic education.

(3) The State shall, subject to availability of resources, provide –

(a) equal and balanced access to secondary and other appropriate pre-university education, equal access to university or equivalent education, with emphasis on science and technology;

(b) a free adult literacy programme, and a free vocational training, rehabilitation and resettlement of persons; and

(c) life-long education”

The PPP’s position is that in addition to our own progressive philosophy which makes it necessary for us to seek human development through education, our 1992 Constitution makes it a requirement on all administrations in Ghana to implement free, compulsory education at the basic level for all Ghanaian children.  It is NOT a matter of choice, nor is it a policy alternative.  We believe that every law-abiding political party in Ghana must accept the challenge to present its plans for the implementation of free, compulsory education at the basic level.  To us this is the minimum requirement but one that is not challenging enough and indeed one that will not help propel Ghana into the ranks of well-performing countries.  To the PPP, free, compulsory education is a high priority that requires the shifting of other goals and objectives to ensure the continuing ability of government to fund expenditures in this area.

Our position is that Ghanaians must engage in a productive national debate on how to implement free, compulsory education through the Senior High School level and not engage in the self-destructing, unproductive and endless discussion on whether such a policy is feasible, practical or realistic.  Political parties, think-tanks, research organisations and business groups should all contribute their ideas, knowledge and work to present solutions to make the goal of a high school education for every Ghanaian boy and girl a reality.

 

  1. C.    Global Experience in Education – Standards and Funding

We live in a competitive global village.  We must not and cannot expect to wallow in ignorance and believe that somehow we will be able to attract the capital and industry that Ghana needs and gain the benefits that can be shared broadly in this country if our people do not have the needed skills and knowledge to offer high end local content. By necessity, we must compare our policy and practice in education to that of other nations.  This comparative analysis shows that our current practice in this critical area is not forward looking enough and will further entrench our children and their children in poverty if we do not ensure a dramatic shift in education policy and practice.

A critical look at global practice/standards of education reveals that most successful countries are:

1.         Willing to invest in people

2.         Focusing on key/specific areas of training.

It is said that “knowledge and skills have become the global currency of 21st-century economies, but there is no central bank that prints this currency. Everyone has to decide on their own how much they will print.” The importance of education in this century cannot be overemphasized; many economies whether developing or developed, are investing in their people. Whether this translates fully into building a knowledge-based society is another matter to consider, but approaching basic education as a right than a privilege is obviously the first step to ensuring that the human capital of every country is well resourced.

Bolivia, a developing country with a Medium Human Development Index, [medium standard of living] with a poverty level of over 50%  and a GDP growth rate of 5.1%  [2011 estimates] devotes 23% of its annual budget to educational expenditures, a higher percentage than in most other South American countries, albeit from a smaller national budget. Aside this, it also offers free education up to high school. This underscores the importance she attaches to education.

Malaysia, a country who got its independence same year as Ghana, and reported to have solely palm oil as its largest export commodity offers free primary and secondary education for all children with six years of primary education being compulsory. Its education budget is 20% of the national budget. The literacy rate among Malaysian citizens aged 10 – 64 years improved from 88.6% in 1991 to 93.5% in 2000 as a result of the investments. The percentage of Malaysian citizens aged 20 years and over with post-secondary, college or university education increased from 8.9% in 1991 to 16.0% in 2000. At 93 percent, Malaysia’s literacy rate is one of the highest in the world. This reflects the enormous importance given to the pursuit of knowledge and education. Although secondary school is not mandatory, more than 92 percent of all students go on to the upper secondary level.

Taiwan, a barren rock in a typhoon-laden sea with no natural resources, to the extent that it has to import sand and gravel from China for construction, has the fourth-largest financial reserves in the world. This is because, rather than digging in the ground and mining whatever comes up, Taiwan has mined its 23 million people, their talent, energy and intelligence, both men and women through quality free and compulsory pre-tertiary education.

Singapore, China, South Korea, Hong Kong and Japan stand out as having promising/robust economies because of their investment in the human capital.

The Republic of Korea for instance offers free, mandatory education for all children and maintains an autonomous educational administration system established in each of 16 municipal or provincial with 230 county offices to guarantee independence and individuality in regional education. Today, Korea boasts of one of the highest literacy rates in the world. Korea’s well-educated people have been the primary source of the rapid economic growth the nation has achieved in the past three decades.

Japan offers free, compulsory public education and all children are required to attend a six-year elementary school and a three-year lower secondary school. Its education budget is 23% of the national budget.

Education in Singapore and Japan have strong outcomes and a high status, at least in part because the public at large has understood that the country must live by its knowledge and skills and that these depend on the quality of education.  A child in Singapore undergoes at least 10 years of general education. This comprises 6 years of compulsory primary education and 4 – 5 years of secondary education.  Also countries with high levels of natural resources, have a strong education sector because these economies have established deliberate policies of saving and investing these resource rents, and not just consuming them.

England and America, two of the world’s super powers with relatively impressive living standards which meant that individuals could, to a large extent fund their wards’ basic and secondary education also offer free and compulsory education up to Senior high school level. This underscores the importance of free education up to the SHS level.  In America, Most states require attendance up to age 16, some up to 18. Thus, every child in America receives at least 11 years of education. This is true regardless of a child’s sex, race, religion, learning problems, physical handicaps, ability to speak English, citizenship, etc. In England, education is compulsory for all children from their fifth birthday to the last Friday in June of the school year in which they turn 16. This will be raised, in 2013, to the year in which they turn 17 and, in 2015, to their 18th birthday.

The success of education in these countries also stems from the fact that most of these countries have not entrusted education into the hands of private owners, a phenomenon which is the reverse in our country, quality education can only be found from top private schools leaving government schools for the less privilege.  Public education is what is experienced by most children in these countries.

In America, nearly 90 percent of American students below the college level attend public elementary and secondary schools. There are 47 million students in America’s public elementary, middle and high schools and 5 million in private schools.  About 94 per cent of pupils in England, and the rest of the UK, receive free education from public funds, while 6 per cent attend independent fee paying schools or homeschooling.

Investing in people is not enough, as this in itself is not a sure guarantee that a country can build knowledge based human resource. What is critical is to invest in relevant/priority areas which will eventually translate in economic growth and freedom. Canadian education for instance, focuses on core subjects such as languages, mathematics, sciences and technology, with an increased focus on themes of contemporary topics such as globalization, competitiveness and productivity.  To meet China’s economic and social development and the challenges of the rapid progress of world science and technology, China has formulated and implemented a strategy to revitalize the country through science and education and has made the development of education a strategic priority.

Japan focuses on elementary school for six years, where pupils study Japanese, arithmetic, science, social studies, music, crafts, physical education, and home economics (to learn simple cooking and sewing skills). During their three years in middle school, English is added to this list. Information technology is increasingly being used to enhance education, and most schools have access to the Internet.

The Singapore education system aims to help students discover their own talents, to make the best of these talents and realize their full potential, and to develop a passion for learning that lasts through life.  The Singapore education system is flexible and diverse, catering to every child’s abilities, interests and aptitudes so as to help each pursue their goals, stretch their faculties and expand on their strengths. The Singapore schools strive to provide students with a broad-based education, focused on both academic and non-academic areas to ensure that students have a broad range of experiences and full opportunity to develop the skills and values needed in life.  Among the key strengths of the Singapore education system are its bilingual policy, emphasis on broad-based and holistic learning, focus on teacher quality and integration of information and communication technologies (ICT) into the classroom.

In most of the economies under discussion, if not all, fund education through state funds/revenue.  In countries where education is decentralized, aside the federal government, the states and local provinces also provide funding.  In England, State-run schools and colleges are financed through national taxation. The schools may levy charges for activities such as swimming, theatre visits and field trips, provided the charges are voluntary, thus ensuring that those who cannot afford to pay are allowed to participate in such events. Even in countries like New Zealand, government takes three fourth of university funding with students paying only one fourth.  In Korea, The financing of education is centralized, and government funding constitutes the largest component of school budgets.  America relies on local and state taxes to fund education.  In Malaysia, The Ministry of Education [as at 2010] remains the major financier for education since the involvement of private sector, federal government and donations are still small.

 

  1. D.    The Ghanaian Experience in Education – Standards and Funding

The purpose of education is to replace an empty mind with an open one.” – Malcolm Forbes

For 2012, 21.22% of the total budget was allocated to education. The total 2012 budget was GHC13, 529, 706,950 out of which GHC 2,871,680,218 was budgeted for education. Total allocation from general education budget for basic education was GHC1, 784,540,000.

In 2011, 25.02% of the total budget was allocated to education. A total of GHC 1,983,217,447 was allocated to education out of a total national budget of GHC7, 926,223,191. Out of this, GHC1, 105,651,000 was allocated to basic education.

In 2010, 26.26% of the total budget was allocated to education.

In 2010, government allocated a total of GHC 1,729,450,088 to education out of a total national budget of GHC6, 584,781,600.

In the 2009 budget 23.44% of total budget was allocated to education.

In 2009, government allocated a total of GHC 1,693,735,829 to education out of a total national budget of GHC7, 226,919,484.

 

Despite the investment, the sector still faces some challenges. Prominent among them is the poor performance of BECE students over the past decade. A total of 1,562, 270 students have failed the B.ECE exams over the past decade. The year 2009, recorded a national pass rate of 50.21% in B.EC.E examinations, meaning that of the 395,649 presented, 198,642 passed and 197,007 failed

It worsened in 2010 with a percentage of 49.12% [total failure of 178,529 out of 350,888 students presented for the exams] and further deteriorated in 2011 to 46% [199,152 failures out of 375,280 students presented for the exams]. The question we ask ourselves is; where are the 1,562270 children who dropped out over the decade? What is their fate? How can hope be restored to these people? How do we curb the situation?

It is evident that the Ghanaian educational system among other things lacks the needed quality, and monitoring. This can be linked to the quality of trainers that we churn out from our teacher training colleges, availability of facilities and instructional materials and the poor performance of our Monitoring and Supervision teams at the Ministry of Education and GES both at the national and district levels.

In this year’s [2012] budget, Government has highlighted some priority areas in education and has committed some resources to ensuring that basic education is achieved. They include: provision of school uniforms with a government allocation of GHC28,800,000, free exercise books at GHC28,967,500, capitation grant GHC 25, 368,008, B.E.C.E subsidy of GHC6,718,332, SHS subsidy of GHC48, 197,652 and the removal of school under tree program amounting to GHC28,000,000

These efforts will not be meaningful if we do not extend free education to SHS level. At basic level, we will only be curbing basic illiteracy and numeracy. Beyond this, is the need to build at least knowledge based low-medium level manpower should they end up immediately in employment or a relevant raw material for our tertiary institutions which will end up as the engine to drive our developmental agenda. And this must be done having in mind a 21st century approach to education.

Again, Taiwan, with no natural resources, has the fourth-largest financial reserves in the world. This is because, rather than digging in the ground and mining whatever comes up, Taiwan has mined its 23 million people, their talent, energy and intelligence, both men and women to become what they are today.

Sources of funding education in Ghana are:

  • GOG – consolidated funds
  • Internally Generated Funds [IGF] from Ministry of Education
  • Donor funds
  • Get fund
  • Annual Budget Funding Amount [ABFA] – Revenue from oil exploration

Education in Ghana is largely funded by government through tax revenues.

Internally Generated Funds from the Ministry of Education also contributes significantly to the funding of education in Ghana. In the 2012 budget for instance, IGF amounts to GHC425, 340,050.

Donors have been benevolent over the years with support of GHC 69,418,281 in 2009, GHC89, 238,185 in 2010, GHC 88,295, 350 in 2011 and GHC130, 113,724 in 2012.

Getfund, a government fund that sponsors education in the country with a contribution of 2.5% from VAT revenues is the second largest financier of education in Ghana. The table below shows Get fund allocations from 2007-2011.

GETFUND ALLOCATIONS AND BASIC SECTOR PAYMENTS 2007 -2011

SECTOR

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

GHC

GHC

GHC

GHC

GHC

TERTIARY

56,200,000

51,200,000

74,250,000

80,200,000

90,898,000

SECOND CYCLE 47,200,000

27,050,000

63,975,000

106,519,000

119,257,000

BASIC

42,596,300

31,323,000

47,875,000

52,500,000

114,450,000

OTHERS

27,903,700

53,452,000

88,900,000

87,474,000

52,275,000

TOTAL

173,900,000

163,025,000

275,000,000

326,693,000

376,880,000

 

  1. E.     The Problem We Must Solve
  • Poor quality education

Investing over 20% of our national budget in education is quite significant and it is expected that this translates into impressive results. Unfortunately, this is not the case. B.E.CE. results keep falling from 2008 up to date with the number of failures increasing every year.

Over the past decade, a total of 1,562,270 students failed their BECE examinations out of a total number of 3,669,138 representing almost 50%.  A few days ago, it was reported that over 70 percent of students in the northern part of the country cannot read.  The fate of these students remains unknown as society cannot offer them much. It is not surprising that many of them end up in all sorts of social vices; with a significant number finding solace in hawking on the streets in search for decent livelihoods.  We cannot benefit from a petrochemicals industry and technology based industries with such an educational profile.

The table below shows performance in B.E.C.E. over the past years

Year Number  who sat for exams Number passed Number failed Percentage passed
2000 233,785 141,535 92,250 60.54%
2001 247,663 149,600 98,063 60.40%
2002 264,979 160,262 104,717 60.48%
2003 268,284 163,613 104,671 60.99%
2004 278,391 170,324 108,067 61.18%
2005 287,297 176,959 110338 61.59%
2006 308,383 190,924 117,459 61.91%
2007 320,247 196,240 124,007 61.28%
2008 338,292 210,282 128,010 62.16%
2009 395,649 198,642 197,007 50.21%
2010 350,888 172,359 178,529 49.12%
2011 375,280 176,128 199,152 46.93%
Total 3,669,138 2,106,868 1,562, 270  

It is obvious that our education system lacks the quality it deserves and this is worrying. If the issue of quality is not resolved, efforts to provide compulsory and continuous education will yield very little. To achieve quality, which is the basis for success, we need to solve these other related problems:

  • Unattractive teaching profession, low teacher motivation, low teacher- students ratio
  • Inadequate teaching facilities and instructional materials
  • Poor supervision/monitoring
  • Inadequate quality/quantity of educated people to meet current industry demands.

 

Unattractive teaching profession, low teacher motivation, low teacher- students’ ratio

The Teaching profession must be made attractive. As a matter of priority, Teacher Training Colleges must not be positioned as a place for dropouts, instead a real PLACE OF CHOICE. The most intelligent brains must be retained in the classrooms and must be given what it takes to compete with brains in other industries.

When we consider the trend in many foreign countries who today, are economically resilient, we learn that they did not only give free compulsory education but they also invested in the human resource who delivers the training – the teachers. In Korea, a four-year educational study at a Teacher’s University is required for those who wish to teach in elementary schools.  We can also upgrade Teacher Training Colleges into universities and improve facilities and equipment. We need to make teaching attractive.

 

At the centre of poor performance by students is the issue of inadequate teacher motivation. Low remuneration and poor conditions of service hinder trainers from delivering quality service. In addition to financial rewards, capacity building training will be helpful and recipients must justify investments made in them by passing prescribed training tests. We need to make our teachers feel proud of their profession rather than perceive it as a means to an end, this remains the only way we can attract more and solve the problem of manpower shortage/inadequacy in this sector.  We must build houses for our teachers as part of improvement in educational facilities countrywide.

  • Inadequate teaching facilities and instructional materials

Even in Accra, we found out that there are many schools who cannot boast of decent teaching and learning environment. The environment in which teaching is delivered is equally crucial in achieving quality. With the abolishing of the shift system, there is enormous pressure on facilities as many teachers and students compete for limited classroom spaces. This does not allow for better teaching and learning. The Daily Graphic reported in March 2012 the agony of a headmaster in Mangoase Secondary School who had to share his bungalow with some female students because of lack of space. obviously, little is expected from these students some of whom had to sleep in the headmaster’s kitchen as they are not psychologically and physiologically disposed to any serious learning in that condition.

Library facilities are hardly found in many of our basic schools, talk less of internet facilities. Even new school blocks fail to make provision for playgrounds, creative art departments, etc. Access to up to date text books in many basic schools is more of a privilege than necessity. All these must change if we want to achieve quality.

Poor supervision/monitoring

Statistics show that the gender gap in schools is gradually closing up but the challenge now is to ensure that investments made in education translates into good results. To this effect, we must enforce the monitoring and supervisory bodies in the education sector at all levels to ensure that knowledge is impacted the way it should.

This team should be made answerable to government when students’ performance is not impressive and this should have a bearing on their career. We need to treat this business of education as real business, holding people accountable for their actions and inactions.

  • Inadequate quality/quantity of educated people to meet current industry demands.

Also linked to quality is the problem faced by industry players over inadequate skilled manpower to meet current industry demands. In the cases where there is adequacy, the quality is suspect.

There is a lot of rush in and out of the various schools with students learning for examinations purposes only. This trend is even being extended to our tertiary schools and the result is obvious. We are churning out semi illiterates with little problem solving skills and slow analytical minds. There is need to decisively deal with this phenomenon if we aim to improve our manpower base.

 

  1. F.     PPP’s Policy Statement on Education

 

The PPP’s policy on education as we have put out in our Political Platform is as follows:

“Provide Quality Education for Every Ghanaian Child.  Standardize school facilities from kindergarten to Senior High School with libraries, toilets, classrooms, kitchen, housing for teachers, playground, etc: and Ensure free and compulsory education in public schools from kindergarten to Senior High School (including computer training).  We will deploy an “Education Police” to enforce the compulsory aspect of our policy.  An integral part of this objective will be an objective to significantly increase vocational training so that all school leavers gain employable skills.  This will include a comprehensive sports programme to instill discipline and promote better health.”

Our policy moves the minimum standard from “basic” meaning Junior High School to the Senior High School level.  Currently, the terminal point for most children in Ghana is Junior High School and that happens usually after the taking the Basic Education Competency Examination (BECE) administered by the West Africa Examination Council.  To ensure success, we will invest in the building of complete school compounds across the country including housing for teachers and the upgrading of teacher training institutions.

Our education policy is different from the “expanding access” one outlined by the NDC Administration’s Vice President John D. Mahama and the “free Senior High School education” one proposed by the NPP Presidential aspirant Nana Akufo-Addo.  The PPP policy recognizes the need to expand educational facilities and to enable every child’s demand for access to be met.  The PPP policy will ensure that a “free Senior High School education” is a right to all children and does not perpetuate the privilege reality of today where only those who “manage” to pass BECE examination and secure a place advance to the High School level. Ours is the policy that is comprehensive and consistent with standards set by countries that have overcome underdevelopment and poverty in the world.

 

  1. G.    Funding the PPP Vision on Education

 

The PPP is determined to give priority to the implementation of our “No Child Left Behind at Home” policy in national budgets.  We will fund the free, compulsory, continuous education vision through government revenue primarily. We will do this by:

  • Re ordering government priority areas in order to enable the education sector get a higher share of the national budget.
  • Strengthening government institutions especially revenue collection and revenue generation institutions. Strengthening these institutions will help check corruption, hence a lot more will be saved to fund education. The high levels of corruption going on in our ports, borders, can be curbed and monies invested in education
  • Check government waste and leakages: Some of government waste and leakages are not entirely cases of corruption; there are also cases of mismanagement and lack of sense of urgency. If we were prudent over the years as a government in our dealings we wouldn’t be budgeting a total of GHC700, 000,000 Ghana cedis for judgment debts today. When we deal with carelessness and self-centeredness on the part of government officials, we will save to invest in education.

 

On the matter of funding our education policy, our strategy is based on allocating a minimum of 30% of our national budget to education.  The incremental amount above the recent, normal budget allocation to education is what we are proposing as funding for our “No Child left behind at home policy. Below is the financial projection for funding education up to SHS level under a “business as usual” scenario.

Scenario 1

A compounded average growth rate of 16.97% was used to predict the five year Total Government budget while 14.11% was used to predict the Allocation to Education sub Budget.

  Government total budget Allocation to Education Growth rates
2009

7,226,913,484

1,693,735,829

23.44%

2010

6,584,781,600

1,729,450,088

26.26%

2011

7,926,223,191

1,983,217,447

25.02%

2012

13,529,706,950

2,871,680,218

21.22%

2013 F         15,826,040,528.87                    3,276,865,959.97

20.71%

2014 F         18,512,120,014.65                3,739,222,233.84

20.20%

2015 F         21,654,095,148.54                4,266,815,635.69

19.70%

2016 F         25,329,342,956.46                4,868,850,934.87

19.22%

2017 F         29,628,373,303.28                5,555,831,667.00

18.75%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scenario 2: Increasing budget allocation by 30%

Total budget             Allocation                    Incremental Allocation

2013                15,826,040,528.87      4,747,812,158             805,823,846

2014                18,512,120,014.65      5,553,636,004             942,592,540

2015                21,654,095,148.54      6,496,228,544             1,102,574,342

2016                25,329,342,956.46      7,598,802,886             1,289,709,104

2017                29,628,373,303.28      8,888,511,990             1,399,456,777

Total Incremental Allocation for 5 years         5,540,156,609

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. H.    Conclusion

The orientation of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) and our core beliefs about the world we live in are Progressive.

This means we believe in broad-based human progress that is felt by the people. We believe that under our leadership, Ghana can move from a third world nation to a first world nation by working with a great sense of duty and urgency.

The PPP’s position is that in addition to our own progressive philosophy which makes it necessary for us to seek human development through education, our 1992 Constitution makes it a requirement on all administrations in Ghana to implement free, compulsory education at the basic level for all Ghanaian children.  It is NOT a matter of choice, nor is it a policy alternative.  We believe that every law-abiding political party in Ghana must accept the challenge to present its plans for the implementation of free, compulsory education at the basic level.

When over 1.5 million of our children have over the past few years had their education terminated at the Junior High School or basic level and when many cannot read, write or perform basic arithmetic tasks, we cannot engage in the luxury of mere political talk over whether all our children need a good education or not.   Political parties, think-tanks, research organisations and business groups should all contribute their ideas, knowledge and work to present solutions to make the goal of a high school education for every Ghanaian boy and girl a reality.

Our education policy is different from the “expanding access” one outlined by the NDC Administration’s Vice President John D. Mahama and the “free Senior High School education” one proposed by the NPP Presidential aspirant Nana Akufo-Addo.  The PPP’s policy recognizes the need to expand educational facilities and to enable every child’s demand for access to be met.  The PPP’s policy will ensure that a “free Senior High School education” is a right to all children and does not perpetuate the privilege reality of today where only those who “manage” to pass BECE examination and secure a place advance to the High School level. Ours is the policy that is comprehensive and consistent with standards set by countries that have overcome underdevelopment and poverty in the world.

We will fund the free, compulsory, continuous education vision through enhancement in government revenue. We propose a minimum of 30% of the national budget to be spent on education with an estimated incremental spending over a five year period of GHS5.5 billion. We will do this by:

  • Re ordering government priority areas in order to enable the education sector get a higher share of the national budget.
  • Strengthening government institutions especially revenue collection and revenue generation institutions.
  • Checking government waste and leakages: Some of government waste and leakages are not entirely cases of corruption; there are also cases of mismanagement and lack of sense of urgency. If we were prudent over the years as a government in our dealings we wouldn’t be budgeting a total of GHC700, 000,000 Ghana cedis for judgment debts today. When we deal with carelessness and self-centeredness on the part of government officials, we will save to invest in education.
  • Incorruptible leadership: The PPP’s commitment to provide incorruptible leadership will provide the missing ingredient needed to generate the funds needed to ensure the successful implementation of this policy.

 

Finally, there is perhaps a reason why the requirement of the 1992 constitution for free and compulsory education has been ignored.  There is a reason why great ideas have escaped us.  Transformation needs great minds and insightful leadership.  The Progressive People’s Party is demonstrating today that new policy ideas like this one requires dynamic leaders who are capable of managing the challenges this transformational policy change will present.

 

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