Mr Mustapha Maison Yeboah, Executive Director of the Centre of Posterity Interest Organisation (COPIO), a civil society organization, has called on government to address institutional challenges that could impede the implementation of the free Senior High School education programme.
He said there was a strong commitment on policies such as capitation grants, textbook provision, school-feeding programmes, among other interventions, to improve on quality education at the basic level but institutional challenges remained huge impediment.
Mr Yeboah observed that until such bottlenecks in the education sector were addressed, there was no way the free senior high school education and other policies designed by the government could make any meaningful impact on the country’s educational system.
He was speaking at a sensitisation campaign on the “I am Aware Project”, a non-partisan citizen empowerment tool that collects, analyses, archives and disseminates user-friendly socio economic data on the state of public goods and service delivery in country at Babiani in the Nkoranza Municipality of Brong-Ahafo Region.
The second phase of the four-year project, being implemented by COPIO in the Techiman and Nkoranza Municipalities and funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation in the United States through the Centrefor Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) is expected to end by the close of the year.
It is aimed at empowering citizens, particularly the poor and vulnerable, to improve their awareness and engagement with duty-bearers about public service delivery in order to make them more accountable and responsive.
Mr Yeboah observed that several challenges would emanate when the full implementation of the free senior high school education commenced and indicated the need for the government ensured transparency in resource disbursement, and efficiency in resource allocation.
He lauded the government’s commitment to implement the programme saying the policy would enable the poor and vulnerable to easily access high quality education services and improved learning outcomes.
Mrs Patricia Duodu, the Nkoranza Municipal Deputy Coordinator of Girl Child Education indicated that girl child education had witnessed some improvements over the years noting that out of the 15,150 pupils recorded in the 2013|2014 academic year 7,385 were girls.
That notwithstanding, she said inadequate resources, enrolment and retention rates remained a challenge in the municipality.
Mrs Duodu advised parents and guardians to place priority on girl-child education by investing much of their resources into the education of the children and wards.
She also called for effective collaboration between teachers, parents and school management committees to improve on the academic performance of students.
On sanitation, Mr Collins Sekyi, field officer of COPIO, noted that effective waste management and access to improved sanitation services remained a huge national challenge.
He observed that though Ghana had a National Environmental Sanitation Strategy, the country failed to achieve set target for water and sanitation under the Millennium Development Goals.
Mr Sekyi stressed the urgent need for key players in the sanitation sector to re-focus and evaluate the sector’s key policy objectives, improve accountability and investment outcomes as well.