A Professor of Law at the University of Ghana, Prof Kofi Quashigah, is advocating the setting aside a portion of the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) levy of 2.5 percent as a special fund to promote responsible citizenship education.
“The constitutional values of the country can also be understood if we understand the history of the constitution and therefore it is important for us to work collectively towards it,” Prof Quashigah added.
Prof Quashigah said this during an inaugural lecture organised by the Ghana Academy of Arts and Science lastThursday on the theme “Fidelity to Constitutional Values: Key to National Survival.”
Alternatively, Prof Quashigah was also advocating an increase in the GETFund levy from the current 2.5 percent to 3.0 percent with the control of the finance entrusted in the hands of an independent body, and not the Minister of Finance.
This, Prof Quashigah said was geared towards the re-orientation of the citizenry on the constitutional values through responsible citizenship education at all segments of society.
According to him, the re-orientation was important due to the disregard to constitutional values such as sovereign authority of the citizenry and environmental protection by the citizenry and government.
The re-orientation process, the law Professor noted, required financial and resources investment.
He further said that there were four key constitutional values which needed attention namely: sovereign authority of the citizenry, environmental protection, family and accountability.
With regards to the exercise of citizen’s franchise, Prof Quashigah bemoaned the monetisation of elections which he said was weakening the democratic system of the country.
The ongoing issue of illegal mining, also known as ‘galamsey,’ Prof Quashigahnoted that it had exposed the country’s disregard to the value of environmental protection.
He added that it was sad to observe that non-citizens from other countries where they had some of these values in their constitution were allowed to engage in such activities in the country, to the detriment of the environment and resources in it.
According to him, the recognition of the family as an important unit of society by the constitution could be found in Article 28 (1) which mandates Parliament to enact laws to protect the family.
However, he noted that the family was moving away from its basic value which was to impact its members with positive values, and sacrificing it for material gains.
BY BENJAMIN ARCTON-TETTEY