Increased in School enrolment should be commensurate with infrastructure
Mr. Jonathan Adabre, Policy Assistant General of Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC), has underscored the need for Government to provide more educational Infrastructure to commensurate the increased enrolment of school children as a result of the introduction of the School Feeding Programme and the Capitation Grant.
Mr. Adabre who is also the Upper East Regional Manager of ISODEC made the statement in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Bolgatanga at the weekend.
While commending the Government for the introduction of the School Feeding Programme and the Capitation Grant, the Policy Assistant General of ISODEC, said there was the need for more class rooms and educational logistics to be provided to meet the increased in school enrolment.
He noted that in many areas in the country, especially in the three northern regions, classes were still being held under trees for school children, which was affecting their academic performance.
He said even in some cases where classrooms were provided, the pupils have were over crowded in the class rooms, making teaching and learning very difficult.
Mr. Adabre indicated that as a result of the existing of few classrooms in some areas, some school children had to commute for long distances to attend schools.
Mr. Adabre said that, in order for Ghana to achieve its dream of “quality education for all” by the year 2015, there was the need for the National Pupil Teacher Ratio of one teacher to 35 pupils to be met.
He explained that in order for Ghana to achieve its dream of education for all by 2015, there was the need for an additional 17,000 teachers to be trained and recruited to the classrooms, and appealed to Government and other stakeholders in education to expedite actions in training more teachers and improving upon their conditions of service, to retain them in the classrooms.
The Policy Assistant General of ISODEC also stated that there were more trained teachers who were stuck up in the Education Offices of the Ghana Education Service, virtually doing nothing and should be deployed into the classrooms to teach.
He noted that the Capitation Grant of three Ghana cedis per annum was inadequate and had not been increased since it inception, and this, according to him, has been affected by inflation and needed to be increased.
Mr. Adabre said that there were many orphans, especially those of affected by HIV/AIDS, and the disabled and suggested the need for the District Assembly sub-structures such as the area, unit and zonal councils to be tasked to identify such people, to enable them also benefit from the Capitation Grant.
He explained that ISODEC and the Ghana Education Service, under the “Ambassador Girls’ Scholarship Programme” instituted by Ambassadors of the United States to the girl child in Sub Sahara Africa, from which Ghana benefited, had begun a programme of identifying the girl children who were most deprived and were in schools, to benefit from scholarship package of educational materials and food stuff in the Northern and Upper Regions.
He said so far 1,078 pupils from Primary and Junior High Schools were benefiting from the scholarship package.