Well Done First Lady
5/12/2012 9:00:23 AM -
The future of any nation rests on the quality of its human resource which is why our government, religious bodies and private individuals have spent huge resources promoting education in the country.
The first president of the Republic, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, introduced fee-free basic education in 1963, while tuition at the university level was free. Other interventions such as education reforms have ever since been implemented.
We are enjoined by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to increase access to education at the basic level by 2015 and policies such as the capitation grant and the school feeding programme have been put in place to ensure the attainment of that goal.
About three decades ago, Ghana could only boast of three public universities and three polytechnics, but today there are six public universities and we are working hard for more while we have established seven other polytechnics.
There are about two scores of private universities offering higher education for those who would have been excluded if the efforts of the state were not complemented by the private sector.
It is not just a question of the quantity of educational facilities that matters but the quality of education must be of paramount concern to everybody. Educational facilities are dotted across the length and breadth of the country, but the quality of these facilities and even the services delivered by teachers and education administrators cannot be said to be the best in all cases.
Some of our children still attend classes in what has now become known as “school under trees”, dilapidated structures without seating facilities such that pupils lie on their bellies to take notes from teachers. In these circumstances, even the most gifted students would not be able to achieve his or her academic goals.
The Daily Graphic is aware that the government, religious bodies and private individuals are doing their best to update facilities at all levels, except that so far, action has been a bit slow to register the desired results.
It is in this context that we commend the First Lady, Mrs Ernestina Naadu Mills, for donating an eleven-classroom block to the chiefs and people of Bornikope in the Dangme East District in the Greater Accra Region.
The project, initiated by Mrs Mills’s community-based organisation, Foundation for Child Education (FCE), consists of two classrooms for early childhood development, six classrooms for the primary school, and three classrooms for the Junior High School ((JHS). It also has an assembly hall, a clinic, a computer laboratory, offices, a staff common room and a water system.
While we commend Mrs Mills for her bold effort to bridge the gap between education in the rural and urban area, we urge the community to take advantage of the facility to provide the best for their children so that they can take their rightful place in society.
The First Lady summed up the challenges facing our educational system, especially in most rural settings, when she named them to include inadequate infrastructure, poor resources in rural communities, weak institutional arrangements for supervision and inability of parents to afford quality education.
We know that the state is overburdened to request from its people and institutions, but there are certain facilities that must be provided at all costs, if our national development efforts are to be on track.
The Daily Graphic calls on the government to use this year’s budget to set a definitive time frame, perhaps five years or a decade, within which the poor conditions under which teaching and learning are undertaken in the rural areas will belong to history.
This is a national imperative that must be demanded from our leaders, while encouraging them to look for the resources to undertake such projects.
Once again we salute the First Lady for this gesture, but we urge all those who are better endowed in our society to adopt communities to provide such facilities for the sake of our children who are the future leaders of our country.
To the people of Bornikope, we urge them to take good care of the facility and encourage their children to learn hard, so that the school facility will bring about change in the community. The teachers are also urged to put in their best.