Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, Deputy Minister of Education, has disclosed that gross
secondary education enrolment ratio in Ghana is now 62.6 percent, up from 36
percent registered in 2010.
Dr Adutwum said this, while contributing to the 2020 Budget debate in Parliament and Government Financial Policy for the year ending 2020.
According to him, government was also working hard to transform the country’s educational system to ensure quality at the senior high level.
“We are doing something right when it comes to access. We have opened the flood gate of senior high education to the vast majority of our people,” he said.
“The President, Nana Akufo-Addo, is doing more to change the fortunes of the youth”.
On November 13, 2019, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta presented the 2020 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of government to Parliament, where he outlined several programmes and policies expected to drive the economy.
Dr Adutwum described the double track system as the engine of the Free Senior High School in the interim, arguing: as a temporary measure, it has helped to ensure a vast majority of Ghanaian youth accessed secondary education.
He added that government was on the right track to deliver quality education due to a number of policies instituted, including; those that ensured teachers were retrained regularly.
He said government had awarded 10 Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (STEM) Centres for construction, while additional 20 centres were expected to be established in 2020.
Mr Peter Nortsu-Kotoe, Ranking Member for Education in his remarks, stated that the problem with the double track system and congestion in SHSs could have been avoided if government had completed community day schools started by the previous government.
“If they had completed these projects, I know very well that, that double track will not even come because we would have gotten enough space to accommodate students in our institutions,” he said.
According to him, government only completed 27 of the community day schools since 2017 and queried what was being done to complete the remaining projects.
Mr Nortsu-Kotoe also criticised government for not making enough provision in the 2020 budget statement for basic education, saying: “The sector is suffering from serious neglect”.
He was unhappy that for the three years that the government assumed administration and management of the country, not much was done on infrastructure.
He quoted 2017, 2018 and 2019 budgets in which the government projected to construct 200 kindergarten schools, but “as at now nobody knows how many has been completed.
You do not see any serious attempt being made to make sure that the basic level education is given the necessary attention that it deserves” he added.
The lawmaker said basic education was in dire need of infrastructure and that if nothing much was done, the country’s educational foundation would be in crisis.
He noted that the basic level was where children were prepared for senior high school, and quizzed: “So if all our attention is on senior high school to the neglect of the basic level, Speaker, where are we going”.
He called on the government to pay equal attention to basic education in the country.