‘Decentralisation must be strengthened’

Mr Julius Debrah,Minister of Local Government and Rural Delopment.Photo.Ebo Gorman (1)Beneficiaries of the 2014 Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) capacity building programme, have urged the government to expedite action on strengthening the country’s decentralisation process, to function effectively.

That, according to them, was the only way to give autonomy to the various agencies and departments at the local level, the capacity to initiate and implement programmes for accelerated development.

The group which just returned from Korea, made the call at a day’s validation workshop in Accra on Friday, aimed at sharing lessons learnt from Korea to improve the country’s education administration.

It comprises 10 teachers and 10 officials from the various departments of the Ministry of Education.

The group, which also presented a country report on the state of the country’s educational system, said the lack of a comprehensive national education policy to plan for the long term total development of the education sector, had greatly affected and distorted the educational system.

They explained that the Koreans planned their educational system with emphasis on practical training and as such, were able to feed their local industries.

They said the educational sector could be transformed if the right policies were initiated with much emphasis on use of local resources for practical activities, as well as the recruitment and payment of teachers at the local level to save them the trouble of leaving the classroom for days to attend to urgent matters at the Ministries’ headquarters.

They also called for the restructuring of the university’s calendar to coincide with the schools vacation to stop teachers abandoning the classroom to pursue further studies.

They urged for provision of modern schools, teachers accommodation and means of transport and other incentives to retain teachers in the rural areas.

Touching on absenteeism among pupils, they suggested that a national award should be instituted to motivate any pupil who would not be absent from school for a period of time as persist in Korea.

They called for the strict adherence to the standards of constructing gender sensitive washrooms in all schools and also ensure that all schools without washrooms are provided with one.

The country Representative of KOICA, Mr. Woochan Chang, assured of his organisation’s commitment to help develop the country’s education sector.

According to him about five to eight million dollars is made available to KOICA every year to help with the country’s development agenda, hence the need to invest part of the facility to improve teaching and learning.

Mr. Chang said they would look at teacher accommodation, post graduate scholarships, modern classrooms in remote areas, as well as helping to improve science, technical and vocational training.

He urged the group to use the best practices learnt in Korea to help transform the country’s.

By Lawrence Vomafa-Akpalu

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