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19.03.2005 Education

Prof Rubbished Govt’ White Paper On Education

By Radio Justice Tamale

The pro-vice-chancellor of the University for development Studies, Rev Prof Saah Dittoh has rubbished government's white paper on the education reform review committee's report. According to him, although it outlines some fine recommendations, the white paper does not emphasize adequately on equity, be it gender, spatial or rural-urban. He doubted whether the government's white paper will help achieve the millennium development goal of universal primary education by 2015, saying 10 years more to go, children are still sitting under trees to learn.

Prof Dittoh was delivering a paper on “the Potential Impact of White Paper on the Right to Quality Basic Education in Ghana, An Assessment”, at a roundtable discussion on the government white paper on the education reform review committee report in Tamale. It was organized by the Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition (GNECC), under the theme, The Renewed Education Agenda, the White Paper proposal. The programme was to help the civil society to have better understanding of the government's white paper and help identify key issues, in order to provide alternative strategies. It attracted some 70 participants from the 10 regions of the country. At the end of the roundtable discussion, the participants drafted a communiqué stating that the change of name from Junior Secondary School to Junior High School and from Senior Secondary School to Senior High School will cause much hardship on parents since it will entail the printing of new textbooks, without necessarily changing the content.

According to the communiqué the extension of the SSS programme from three to four years will leave the country as the odd one out in the West African sub-region. It stated that the white paper is not very vocal on the needs of the physically challenged and advocated political will and definite commitment to implement educational policies among other things.

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