The Member of Parliament (MP) for Kintampo North Constituency, Joseph Kwame Kumah, has expressed worry about government’s concentration on secondary education to the neglect of basic level education in the country.
He noted that about 1.3 million learners in Senior High Schools (SHS), GetFund allocated GH¢ 74 million while Government of Ghana (GoG) disbursed GH¢ 100 million, making 135 per cent increase in expenditure for free SHS in 2021.
Mr Kumah indicated that in the same period, about seven million learners in basic education, GetFund allocated GH¢ 66 million while GoG disbursed only GH¢ 25 million, representing 37 per cent allocation.
The MP stated this on Tuesday in an interview with the Ghanaian Times at Kintampo, in a follow up to a statement he delivered on the floor of Parliament titled, “revisiting Free, Compulsory Universal Basic Education (FCUBE), a constitutional imperative”.
He added that the FCUBE programme, which was implemented in 1995, was aimed to expand and promote good and quality education through basic education, and to supply adequate materials and infrastructure in all public schools.
Mr Kumah said the country, which recorded 8.14 per cent educational expending per Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio in 2011, declined to 3.6 in 2021, and 3.5 in 2022.
The Law-Maker noted that expenditure on basic education declined by 15 percentage points between 2008 and 2022 to the advantage of secondary education, which was below the UNESCO threshold of four per cent.
“For instance, as basic education expenditure reduced from 55.7 per cent in 2008 to 40 per cent in 2020, secondary education share of education expenditure increased from 9.8 per cent to 25 per cent in the same period” he added.
Mr Kumah indicated that though government allocation to education in the national budget has been increased (14 per cent in 2022 over 2021), allocation on basic education continues to move downwards.
The MP noted that, there were a total of 15,391 primary and 11, 383 Junior High Schools (JHS) in the country, which meant that some 4,008 primary schools do not have access to JHS.
“About 5,400 schools are under trees and 40 per cent of basic school pupils lack desk and chairs in schools. The sum effect is poor basic school infrastructure, leading to poor quality education” he stressed.
Mr Kumah stated that there were about 15 schools under trees and 21 primary schools without JHS in Kintampo North, with these school children traveling between 10 to 12 kilometers every day to access basic education.
FROM EMMANUEL ADU GYAMFI, KINTAMPO