Our education system is in serious crisis. Out of a 100 of our children that start kindergarten, only 71 end up in primary school, only 65 will go up to junior high school. Out of that, only 35 progress to senior high school and only 3 will end up in university. At all stages, many of our children fall out either because they cannot afford to go on or they drop out for other reasons. Making Education accessible and affordable is the key to transforming the lives and prosperity of Ghana.
We will redefine basic education and make it compulsory from Kindergarten to Senior High School. No child will be denied access to secondary education as we will remove the biggest obstacles that currently stand in their way: cost and access. The 3 Rs (Reading, WRiting & ARithmetic) and ICT Proficiency in concert with our teachers through monitored programs and assessments will be enhanced. This will ensure that basic education provides every Ghanaian with adequate literacy, numeracy and basic ICT skills after six years of schooling.
Every child in Ghana will have access to good quality education. This is the backbone and a top priority of our policy on Education. We can only transform our lives and economy with a highly literate populace. We are fully committed to making secondary education free for every Ghanaian child. By free SHS we mean free tuition, admission, textbook, library, science centre, computer, examination, utilities, boarding and meals. So will boarding, feeding, entertainment fees, textbooks and utilities. In order to ensure equity, day students will also be fed at school free of charge. Free secondary school education will cover Technical and Vocational institutions.
Provision of accessible and affordable free education can only work with the enthusiastic support of a well-trained and motivated teaching workforce. Currently, we do not have enough teachers and many are not happy with their lot. Last year, the Minister for Education stated that there was a 60,000-teacher deficit in the country. We will attract, train and retain young professionals into the teaching profession. We will make it easier for teachers to upgrade their skills, improve their status and provide them with incentives. We shall endeavour to make teaching in the rural areas, in particular, less stressful by providing accommodation and transportation. We will introduce a Teachers First Policy focused on raising the support and quality of our teachers through monitored and evaluated training and professional development, and improved incentives.
The youth need skills for the job market. The country needs apprenticeship schemes that teach skills and guarantee quality. We will borrow from the experiences of countries that have industrialised with the skills of artisans. An example is Germany, which has successfully implemented this and the possibilities of a collaboration has been explored to bring home their apprenticeship models which has helped Germany make quality products famed around the world. The 2008 Education Act made provisions for apprenticeship schemes. We will implement them. Technical and Vocational Institutions will be increased, equipped and enhanced to help fill the critical skills gap required to industrialise Ghana. At the higher level, education must produce technical, professional and managerial personnel to drive Ghana’s industrialisation and transformation.
Science & Technology
We live in a global arena where science, technology and innovation are the foundations of every modern economy. They are imperative to economic development. Nations that have made major strides in improving the lives of their people have integrated science and technology into their development planning. We will train more scientists and ICT specialists to ensure an acceleration and innovation of our economic development. We will achieve a transformation of our economy by putting a high premium on science, technology and innovation in our education modules and through research
We will undertake a major expansion and overhaul of educational facilities and support provision of innovative forms of education delivery and teaching aids, including modern laboratories and libraries.