EDITORIAL: Combining Access With Quality Education
5/9/2012 9:02:51 AM -
It is often argued that education holds the key to development.
It is also a fact that although education holds the key to development, the products of education can pose a threat to the security and stability of society if the education we provide our young people does not properly equip them for the world of work later in life.
We believe it is in this vein that our governments have pursued various programmes, especially at the basic level, to equip our children, for a carpenter, a mason or any other artisan needs basic knowledge and access to information to perform effectively and efficiently.
As an agricultural nation, our farmers can put to better use the knowledge and information shared with them by extension officers if these farmers had some good basic education.
Even in the choice of leaders through elections, basic knowledge is desired to enable the citizenry to make informed decisions.
That is why giving priority support to basic education should be seen as complementing the development of other sectors, not competing with them. The absence of quality basic education can be seen in the illiteracy level of the population and the slow growth of all sectors of the economy.
It is in this vein that we commend the government for its efforts at improving access to education and retention of pupils in schools, especially those in deprived communities, through the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP) with the support of Dubai Cares, a non-governmental organisation.
While commending the government for such positive measures to improve access to education, we believe attention must also be paid to the quality of education provided the pupils who stay in the schools.
It is of no use retaining pupils in schools if we cannot provide them with quality education that will empower them to be of service to themselves, their families and society at large.
Often, when results of the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) are released, many parents become worried over what grades their children obtain. In fact, there are a number of communities where schools have scored zero per cent in the BECE over the last decade.
The Daily Graphic believes that while addressing the retention issues of pupils, we must also seek solutions to the problem of quality education. We know that efforts are being made to provide shelter for pupils who study under trees.
But what efforts are we making to address the problem of the shortage of teachers and ensuring that they provide quality teaching for the pupils? What about the provision of textbooks and other learning materials?
The Daily Graphic thinks that the problems in education must be holistically addressed. We, therefore, call on all stakeholders to emulate the gesture of Dubai Cares to partner the government in other areas to provide quality education for our children.
We must avoid the situation where we get so many children in school but they end up without employable skills because they did not have well-trained teachers with the requisite knowledge, commitment and motivation to equip them for the world of work.