A Sound Record Of The NDC In The Educational Sector Of Ghana - Mills / Mahama Regime
Education remains the surest path to victory over ignorance, poverty and inequality. For this reason, every government must pay key attention to our educational sector at all levels.
The article will look at what the NDC has done towards the improvement of Ghana's educational sector at all levels.
Prior to 2012 general elections, the NDC pledged to Ghanaians to ensure equitable access to quality education with the view to empower Ghanaians through better educational systems and reforms. This imbibed the NDC to introduce key social interventions in the Education Sector including the implementation of the progressively Free SHS Programme, Scholarship for over 10,000 Senior High School Students, Free uniforms, Free exercise books and Free sandals for Children. It also expanded the School Feeding Program which helped reduced direct and indirect cost barriers to parents. Arguably, these interventions allowed the NDC government to significantly expand access to education at all levels.
Conversely, at the basic level, a total of 1,614 out of 2,578 basic school projects was completed under the removal of schools under trees program, providing brick and mortar shelter for 484,200 pupils. Then again, the process to eliminate the school shift system was highly successful. The number of pupils benefiting from the school feeding program quadrupled from 440,000 to 1.7 million in 2014. Interestingly, a historic Re-Sit Policy under which 2,599 under performed BECE and private candidates were given the opportunity to resit the BECE as private candidates was implemented for the first time since the inception of JSS /JHS System. The cost of BECE examination fees was subsidized for all registered candidates in both public and private Schools.
In the second cycle education sector, the NDC constructed 123 out of the planned 200 community Senior High Schools. The NDC government implemented the progressively free ShS programme in line with Article 25 of the 1992 Constitution. It constructed 1,000 six unit classroom blocks and over 180 two storey dormitories in selected 2nd cycle institutions. It provided 58,000 bunk beds, 50,000 pieces of furniture, 30,000 computers and 300 small water projects for Selected Senior high schools. All these programs was to enhance efficiency in the provision of quality education and not like what is happening under the current NPP Government.
With regard to the tertiary Education, the following was achieved, commissioned ICT facilities in the 10 regional Distance Education centers to aid distance education, constructed a 617 bed teaching hospital at the university of Ghana for the medical School, extended the students loans Scheme to cover students in all tertiary institutions and increased the amount.
It is instructively important to note that, the NDC invested heavily in Technical and Vocational Education and training. This acquisition is very important as it played major roles in the job market. The NDC established the National Apprenticeship Programme (NAP) to cater for the large informal sector. Over 5000 JHS leavers was trained in garment making cosmetology, welding and Fabrication, auto mechanics and electronics in selected districts nation wide under NAP. The NDC also awarded bursaries to 2000 apprentices in the informal Sector.
The NDC also initiated the *Teacher first Agenda*. In this, the NDC government passed the colleges of Education Act, 2012 (Act 847) to upgrade Teacher Training Colleges to Tertiary institutions. It abolished the quota systems in the colleges of education allowing for all 38 public colleges of Education to admit at full capacity. This led to an increase in enrollment by 63.8%.
It also implemented the *T-TEL* (transforming teacher education and learning). This was to initiate a capacity and pedagogy improvement programs for colleges of Education.
In conclusion, it is evidential that the NDC is the political Party that has brought a lot of reforms in our educational sector. It is therefore unwise to say the NDC has not done any significant reform in our Educational program.
Member, NDC Communications Team
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