The latest World Bank Human Capital Index (HCI) report has ranked Ghana as the last but one country in the world in terms of harmonised test scores of children from basic to secondary school.
This is in spite of the fact that Ghana had done well in terms of enrolment for basic and second cycle education, but the report explained that there was no corresponding improvement in the quality of education.
With a harmonised test score of 307, Ghana only managed to beat Niger by two points, falling short of the 391 average score by her peers in the lower-middle income countries (LMICs).
The report, published by the World Bank, said Ghana's HCI is 44 per cent as compared with the average in sub-Saharan Africa which stands at 40 per cent. Although Ghana’s HCI is four points higher than the average for sub-Saharan Africa, it fell short of the average for LMICs which is 48 per cent.
For instance, the report indicated that although the expected years of school for children in Ghana was 11.6 as compared with the 8.6 average for sub-Saharan African countries, 5.7 of those years were lost because of poor content in Ghanaian schools. What that means is that almost six years of learning is lost for Ghanaian children because of poorly structured content.
These findings, as contained in the report, come as a surprise to many, including us, the Daily Graphic, because of other educational indicators that place the quality of Ghana’s education on a high pedestal in the comity of nations.
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We are also shocked that in spite of the numerous social intervention programmes initiated by governments over the last decade, not much seems to be coming out of those efforts, according to the report. We can mention, for instance, the school feeding programme which has increased enrolment substantially.
However sad, the Daily Graphic would want to urge the government to take the report in good faith and allow it to serve as a learning curve on which some major reforms could be crafted and implemented.
Normally, these reports are rubbished on political grounds but for the sake of our children, our future leaders, there is the need for us all to help the government turn this unfortunate situation into a good omen by engaging the right calibre of people to rethink how things are done at the basic school level.
It also calls for an urgent reassessment of the true impact of the social intervention programmes at the various levels of our education to be able to elicit the right picture of our education system.
The level of investment into that level of education is enormous and, therefore, we deserve better reports on our sacrifice than what we have just received. However, as indicated earlier, all hands must be on deck to turn the situation around for our own good.
Again, when benchmarking, we should be able to use advanced countries and not our peers in the sub-region because we are ahead of them on many fronts and it would not be the right comparison to make.