The Caucus for Democratic Governance, Ghana (CDG-GH), has of late, taken note of the deplorable conditions of basic schools in Ghana. When free SHS became a political slogan, logistics and funds for basic schools were diverted to fund free SHS.
Parents hold the view that basic schools represent the roots of a tree. The growth of the tree depends on the food and water the roots receive. The system of education in Ghana, like elsewhere, has its roots in her basic structures. The neglect of the basic education, renders the entire system vulnerable and less qualitative.
Kpogedi Basic School in South Keta, has nothing to be proud of, but a few broken tables with cement blocks and pieces of wooden slabs, serving as chairs for the students. For ICT purposes, the school has only one computer for teaching and learning; and a library of a few worn out books. Broken windows and roof-leakages are common spectacle. Inadequate resources make maintenance of existing school infrastructure barely impossible.
The plight of Kpogedi Basic School is common to almost all basic schools currently suffering from lack of books and total freeze on teacher recruitment. This freeze leaves thousands of classrooms without trained teachers, especially in deprived areas. A condition projected by policy failure of government in basic schools.
As a result of massive corruption, wrong priorities and lack of political will; monies are diverted from education to wrong areas of priority, such as building of Cathedral. The result of IMF intervention , leaves expenditure cuts of 12.9%, which is far below the 15% minimum International benchmark for education. The already underfunded basic education budget for Goods and Services, from which Teaching and Learning Resources are financed has also been further cut by 40%. A situation that leaves the running of basic schools barely impossible.
The NPP led Government needs to sit up and attach importance to basic education with plans to paying more attention to basic school development and transformation. Except the basic school education is built on solid foundation, the depreciating quality of the system of education cannot serve the developmental needs of Ghana.
(By Wisdom Kojo Eli Hammond)
Executive Director, CDG-GH