Ghana has been ranked first in Africa in Mathematics and Science, according to the Global Information Technology report 2014, compiled by the World Economic Forum.
The report, which monitored the global competitiveness of countries in the areas of Mathematics and Science, also ranked Ghana 48th in the world.
The report, which provides an assessment of network readiness or how prepared an economy was to apply the benefits of information and communication technology (ICT) to promote national economic growth and well-being, ranked Nigeria 133rd.
According to the report, South Africa’s educational system in general was assessed to be of ‘very poor quality” and ranked 146th out of 148 countries.
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The report said in 2013 alone 12.5 million English, Mathematics and Science core textbooks were distributed in public primary and junior high schools which enabled Ghana to exceed the universal textbook to pupil ratio of three textbooks per pupil.
Currently, Ghana’s textbook-pupil ratio stands at four textbooks per pupil from the previous ratio of one for three pupils.
Statistics made available in the report indicated that growth in the kindergarten schools grew by 17.3 per cent from 16,439 during the 2008/2009 academic year to 19,277 in the 2012/2013 academic year. Primary schools grew by 11 per cent from 17,881 in 2008/ 2009 to 19,854 in 2012/2013 academic year, while junior high schools grew by 21.8 per cent from 10,213 during the 2008/2009 academic year to 12,436 in 2012/2013 academic year.
According to the report, kindergarten enrolment rose to 19.9 per cent from 133,388,454 in 2008/2009 academic year to 1,604,505 in 2012/2013 academic year. Primary school enrolment rose by 10.7 per cent from 3,710,647 during the 2008/2009 to 4,105,913 at 2012/2013 academic year, while JHS enrolment recorded 13 per cent with enrolment growing from 1,285,277 during the 2008/2009 academic year.
The report cited a number of interventions that accounted for the significant growth in access to education since 2009.
The report said a total of 2,064 basic school projects had been under construction of which 432 were funded from regular government revenue and 1,632 funded from the GETFund, adding that more than half of the projects had been completed and handed over.
According to the report, 100 million exercise books had been distributed since 2009 and in 2013 alone, 32 million exercise books were distributed to 4,768,806 pupils across the country while 10 million exercise books had been distributed this year.
In addition, the report said in 2013,170,221 pupils were supplied with free school uniforms, while 10 million uniforms were being distributed in the year.
On Capitation Grant, the report said GH¢24,472,840 was paid to cover 5,741,198 representing 30 per cent of pupils in public basic schools for the 2012/2013 academic year.
On school feeding programme, the report said the total coverage increased from 441,189 children to 1,739,357 children by the programme that was now fully funded by the government after the Dutch government pulled out, citing corruption as the reason.
The report said GH¢9,031,338 was used to subsidise the registration cost of 391,079 candidates from the Basic Education Certificate Examination.
It explained that in 2014,462,961 final year JHS students would be subsidised at a cost of GH¢14,803,635, representing 70 per cent of the bill, with parents paying GH¢15, which is 30 per cent of the examination fees.
The report added that as part of the efforts aimed at providing opportunities for BECE candidates who did not meet the criteria for the selection into senior high schools, the Ministry of Education, in collaboration with the West African Examinations Council, had reviewed the policy on BECE re-sit to introduce a new system under which private candidates would be allowed to re-sit beginning February 2015.
To improve ICT education, the report said 60,000 laptops were distributed to basic school pupils in all the regions with 50,000 basic school teachers benefitting from the ICT programme.
On the Complementary Basic Education for out-of-school children, 25,000 out-of-school children were enrolled in 2013 and were currently being taught under the management of nine implementing partners including School for Life as a mechanism to mainstream them into the formal school system after graduation.