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28.10.2008 Politics

GNECC launches education debate for running mates

By gna

Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition (GNECC) on Tuesday launched an education debate for vice presidential candidates to assess their level of appreciation of education issues.

The debate, which will be held on the November 12, would offer a platform for the vice presidential candidates of the four main political parties (NPP, NDC, CPP and PNC) to espouse their education development agenda and vision for overall development of the education sector.

It is also to serve as a basis to demand accountability with reference to their visions so espoused after the election.

Mr Leslie Tetteh, National Coordinator of GNECC, who launched the debate in Accra, said the engagement of the vice presidential candidates was based on the premise that presidential aspirants had had the platform to articulate the policies of their various parties and therefore the need to extend such debates to running mates.

Mr Tetteh said education issues were important because the attainment of the second Millennium Development Goal (MDG) on education hinged on the success of achieving quality basic education for all.

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are eight goals to be achieved by 2015 that respond to the world's main development challenges.

The MDGs are drawn from the actions and targets contained in the Millennium Declaration that was adopted by 189 nations-and signed by 147 heads of state and governments during the UN Millennium Summit in September 2000.

The second goal is to achieve universal primary education.

Mr Tetteh said even though the country was implementing policies that were aimed at achieving education for all, a lot more unresolved challenges in basic education delivery, quality and access needed to be addressed.

Mr Tetteh said while the country seemed unable to equitably distribute 15,000 available teachers across the country, it was also faced with the problem of producing 26,000 teachers for the basic education sector to ensure it attained the MDG.

He noted that the increasing privatisation of higher education in the country had become a worrying issue depriving the economically vulnerable of access to education.

Mr Tetteh bemoaned the consistent reduction in support for technical and vocational education, which, he said, accounted for the low volume of skills and competence for national development across all sectors.

He was of the view that the debate would elicit responses to the problems within the context of the state of education in the country.