Ghana Education News
Increase budget for education "Stakeholders to govt"
STAKEHOLDERS at a National Forum on Girls’ Education have called on the government to increase budget allocation on education, particularly to address the needs and barriers of young girls’ access to education in the country.Subscribe
They explained that currently, the budget allocation towards basic education was inadequate, preventing a lot of young children from receiving formal education.
They mentioned the barriers to include poverty, inadequate infrastructure, early marriage, sexual harassment and early pregnancy as hindrances that keep girls from staying in school.
In view of budget, they revealed that an associate for change policy brief, 2022, had indicated that the Ministry of Education's Strategic Plan, 2018 to 2030, only committed one per cent of its basic education budget to supporting the Complementary Basic Education programme, which they said was not enough.
They added that until the year 2020, complementary education was solely donor funded, indicating that in the 2023 budget, an allocation of only GH₵2.1 million was made for complimentary education.
The stakeholders also urged government to put up more public educational infrastructure with enough school supplies rather than leaving it all to the private sector.
They also called for the need to find solutions to barriers such as poverty, sexual harassment and early pregnancy that hindered most girls from staying in school.
The Forum was organised by the Star Ghana Foundation (SGF) in Accra last Tuesday.
It was aimed at exploring changes in barriers to girls' education in the country and assessing existing strategies for promoting girls' education, such as re-entry for pregnant schoolgirls.
Promotion of girls’ education
The Project Manager at SGF, Dr Ernestina Tetteh, delivering a Scope Review on the Strategies for Promoting Girl’s Education in Ghana, noted that there had been several strategies and interventions to improve education, but said the impact made so far could not be assessed due to lack of coordination among non-state actors.
In terms of the review, she said Ghana had reached gender parity, but there was a high gender disparity at the higher levels.
She said poverty and cost-related challenges remained on the top list of barriers preventing girls from accessing education, adding that hygiene related challenges and teenage pregnancy-related drop-out issues were also among the barriers.
“Provision of materials to support girls who go back to school after pregnancy, friendly environment like hygiene, sanitation and allocation of budget to ensure that such girls are enrolled, retained and complete school must be made,” she advised.
Dr Tetteh also mentioned that partnerships and coordination among stakeholders remained weak, which often resulted in overlaps and duplication of efforts.
She, therefore, called on the Ministry of Education to coordinate stakeholders on promoting girls’ education, harness the successes, identify gaps and forge new ways to effectively promote girls’ education.
The Executive Director of Africa Education Network, Kofi Asare, reiterated the call for an improved budget allocation that would make education a priority in the country.
“Once the budget is increased, we must ensure that an effective budget execution method is adopted to ensure that children are given quality education,” he said.