The Northern Network for Education Development (NNED), an education focus non-governmental organisation, has urged the government to adopt pro-poor policies to improve quality education at the basic and secondary levels.
Mrs Rosemond Kumah, Executive Committee Chairperson of NNED indicated that her outfit has acknowledged the efforts of the government to reform and strengthen the educational sector for all Ghanaians as captured in the 2017 budget statement.
She said: “The increment in the allocation to the education sector from Gh? 6,909.36 million in 2016 to Gh? 7,382.79 million is commendable.”
She implored the government to commit a large percentage of the education budget to basic education if the country was to improve or sustain the gains made in basic education.
Mrs Kumah noted that the allocation to basic education should not be reduced as a result of the implementation of the free SHS policy.
Making the suggestions in a release copied to the Ghana News Agency in Tamale on Tuesday, she said the pro-poor policies were adopted in Ghana to ensure equity and effective targeting of education financing at the basic level.
She explained that the government and its development partners supported the piloting of the Ghana Partnership for Education Grant (GPEG) with support from USAID as pro-poor policy, which had seen significant improvement in quality provision of basic education in some parts of northern Ghana.
Mrs Kumah said the GPEG project which was implemented by NNED, made significant progress in leveraging funding for deprived schools leading to the reduction of the practice of inflating enrolment figures to attract traditional government funding.
She said it contributed tremendously in retention of qualified teachers in deprived districts with more than 6,000 teachers being trained under the Untrained Teachers Diploma in Basic Education programme while 94,000 other teachers benefiting from in-service training.
The Chairperson suggested the need for government to adopt the alternating base grant and per capita grant approach used for the disbursement of GPEG for the disbursement of the ongoing capitation grant to help in making the facility more effective and equitable.
She also recommended the need for government to sustain support for effective supervision and monitoring in deprived districts and allocate more resources to interventions that sought to encourage community participation in school governance.