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17.03.2009 Education

GNECC Appreciates Statement On Educational Budget

By   ISD (Yakubu Abdul-Jalil/ Lawrencia Ziwu)

The Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition (GNECC), yesterday, commented on issues relating to the provisions of quality education as provided by the Government in the 2009 budget as a welcome policy for the country.

GNECC is a network of civil society organisations, professional bodies, education and research institutions, and committed individuals interested in promoting quality basic education for all.

At a Press Conference in Accra, Mr Leslie Tettey, the National Co-ordinator of GNECC, observed that abolishing of all extra fees in our Basic School will assist the poor but needy students to have access to quality education in the country.

In this direction, he advised Government to abolish all extra fees in basic education. In this vein, Government should make provision for examination materials through the District Assemblies education budget.

'The usefulness of the exams fee, in funding printing and stationery costs of exams, we see it as a potential avenue for exclusion and therefore call for its immediate abolition', he stressed.

Mr Tettey further disclosed that the exams fees prevent unfortunate pupils from writing their exams on the grounds of default in payment.

The Coalition urges Government to make maximum use of locally produced cotton and fabrics as a means of promoting local industry and creating jobs for Ghanaians. 'This will sustain the provision of free school uniforms and must be consciously linked with the principle of encouraging local production, income generation and employment.'

'We have applauded Government for the increment in the capitation grant from GH¢3 to GH¢4.5 per child per term, even though their outfit has advocated an increment of it to from GH ¢3 to a minimum of GH¢5. GNECC is, however, unhappy about the slow pace of effort by the Ministry of Education to decentralise the management of the Capitation Grant', he asserted.

They reiterated that teachers who accept posting to deprived areas should be given full income tax reliefs to ensure that more teachers are attracted to rural and deprived areas and thereby help in addressing the geographical disparity in teacher distribution.

' Government should be realistic and give a true  meaning to its commitment in ensuring equity in the distribution of teachers in Ghana by mustering the political will to implement this proposal which has seen no  consideration over the five years' he expressed.

The coalition welcomes Government's proposal for an all party conference on education reform and calls for adequate space for Civil Society participation and the assurances of the utilisation of expert opinions during the conference.