Ghana likely to miss out on Education for All and MDG goals

A coalition of non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders interested in the implementation of the Complementary Basic Education (CBE) have expressed fears that the country was most likely to miss out on the Education for All (EfA) target and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) One and Two if urgent steps were not taken to implement the CBE policy by September 2011.

Ghana has already lost out on the target for gender parity in basic education which was set for 2005.

The Complementary Basic Education Alliance (CBE), the NGO umbrella organization, stated this in a position paper on education and copied to the GNA in Tamale on Tuesday.

The CBE Alliance is made up of the School for Life (SfL), the Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition (GNECC), IBIS-Ghana, the Ghana Institute of languages Literacy and Bible Translation (GILLBT) and the Northern Network for Education Development (NNED) among others.

The CBE Alliance noted that a drafting process of a CBE policy was initiated in 2006 by the Basic Education Division of the Ghana Education Service (GES) upon available evidence that about 25 percent of school age children were still out of school in the country.

The Alliance said it was variously stated that between 600,000 and 860,000 children of school going age in the country were out of school.

The CBE Alliance has however noted with regret that in spite of the existence of a draft policy with strategies and an annual operational plan-2010-2012 for the implementation of the CBE, it has not yet been translated into implementation.

The Alliance therefore questioned the delay in the implementation of the policy and also queried whether after missing the target for gender parity in basic education in 2005, “we are comfortable with missing the second major target of Education for All(EfA) and the MDGs one and two in 2015.”

“If we are indifferent as a country to these global and national targets, is it then worth the effort subscribing to these targets, especially when Ghana has been signed onto the education fast tract initiative of the World Bank because of our “Commitment for EfA,” the statement said.

The Alliance therefore appealed to the Ministry of Education to commence immediate steps at approving the CBE policy and causing its start up by the GES (Basic education division) in consultation with technically competent CSOs, the private sector, communities and individuals.

On providing equitable educational opportunities at the basic level and that no child is excluded from basic education by virtue of disadvantage, the CBE said it had some models to address the issues and pledged the preparedness of some of its members to provide the relevant professional expertise to target out of school children with tested and workable models.

The Alliance said it recognized the CBE policy as a social protection policy relevant for the achievement of most of the MDGs, such as eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, the achievement of universal primary education and promoting gender equity among others and thus deserves the utmost attention of government and its agencies and which should be implemented without further delay.

The Alliance also recommended that as a state mandated institution responsible for implementing government policy on education, the structures and systems of the district education offices of the GES be used for the CBE policy implementation.

It also recommended that funding for the component of the CBE activities ranging from teacher recruitment, provision of basic teaching and learning materials and monitoring and supervision be channeled through the district education offices, saying that this approach would secure GES ownership of the CBE and their role of integrating CBE learners into mainstream GES schools.

    Article: Tamale, Aug.03, GNA –