Education,health are key issues in polls

xxxEducation, health, employment and agriculture are among the key issues which will inform the voting by  the electorates in the impending general elections.

This was contained in a study conducted by the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE),   titled ‘Matters of concern to the Ghanaian voter’.

The survey, which was conducted in July, was to elicit the views of Ghanaians on issues under the economy which they want political parties to address when they assume the reins of government.

Sponsored by the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the survey covered 7,435 respondents in all the districts in the country, and covered 16 critical sectors under the economy.

The other sectors, which the study looked at, were Energy which ranked sixth, Economy (7), Corruption (9), Women and Children (10), Roads and Infrastructure (11), National Security (112th), Youth Development and Social Services (13),Taxes and Tariffs (14), Housing (15), Information and Communication Technology and Sports (16).

Particularly on education, the respondents said government should reduce the cost of accessing education and ensure that senior high and basic education was indeed free and compulsory and  of high quality, while on health, the respondents said government should deal with the numerous issues affecting the National Health Insurance Scheme and provide enough health facilities.

On employment, the respondents said government should create more employment opportunities for the youth and graduates, and also build more industries to create jobs for the youth.

On  agriculture the respondents said government should provide subsidies on agriculture inputs and provide financial support for the industry.

William Hanna, Ambassador and Head of EU Delegation to Ghana, who launched the report, commended the NCCE for the study, saying the issues which the study highlighted such as respect for rule of law, human rights, and democracy were values the EU espouses.

He said the study would help deepen the democratic process of the country and also help the electorates in the   2016 general elections.

The Country Director of the UNDP, Dominic Sam, noted the study would help to strengthen the democratic process of the country and ensure free, fair and credible elections.

A senior lecturer at the University of Ghana Business School, Dr Justice Nyigmah Bawole, who reviewed the report described it as very insightful, and said  the broad range of issues the study highlighted  was very encouraging since  it gave the respondents the opportunity to outline issues which were important to them.

Dr Bawole entreated the NCCE to expand the sample in future survey,to involve more women, since women constituted a larger segment of the population,

A Senior Fellow of the Institute of African Studies of the University of Ghana, Dr Kojo Opoku Aidoo who also reviewed the report, lauded the NCCE for the study.

Mr Samuel Asare Akuamoah, Deputy Commissioner of NCCE in charge of Operations, said NCCE,  as part of its mandate, in 2004 began a survey to seek the views of Ghanaians on matters which were of importance to them and need redress.


By Kingsley Asare

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