?as govt summoned by UN on questions relating to right to education and education privatization in Ghana

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The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) last week, summoned Ghana Government to respond to a lists of questions on the right to education and education privatization in Ghana by 24th March, 2015.

The Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition (GNECC) has profer solutions to government asit prepares to facing the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC), an outcome they believe were the concerns raised by the Coalition and its Civil Society partners in a parallel report submitted to the CRC in August this year.
The Coalition, among other compelling reasons, calls on government to ensure that private schools only supplement, rather than supplant the public education system. It is only through a quality public education system that will achieve equitable education for all.

The National Coordinator for GNECC, Leslie Tettey urged the ruling NDC government to review its policy on privatization in the education sector to ensure that quality public education for all is not compromised or perpetuate discrimination against the poor by ensuring that available resources are efficiently used to promote equality in access to quality basic education.

During a press conference, he briefly mentioned that government education policy shows enormous support for expanded privatization of basic education which is gradually replacing the public education system.
He added that the rapid growth of private schools involves a segregation which generally reflects the persistent socio-economic disparities across Ghana.

Adding, Mr. Tettey made an observation that the poor enforcement of the regulatory framework for private institutions which is included in Section 23 of the Education Act 2008 (Act 778).
The Act posited that parents are being made to pay a high cost for education in ghana without even the assurance that their children are getting the quality of education they are paying for.

Another concern observed by the Coalition, Mr. Tettey mentioned lack of data and transparency on the rampant privatization in the sense that the Ministry of Education itself showed it lacked of data on crucial aspects to assess the realization of the right to education such as fees charged by private schools, ?even the number of private schools is uncertain, as far as some schools may find attractive not to register their existence with public authorities.?

The National Coordinator, Leslie Tettey urged government to ensure that while the laws of Ghana allows for private participation in education, its monitoring and regulatory systems are strengthened to ensure that private provision is consistent with the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

According to him, government must engage development partners such as the DFID and the World Bank to consider full orientation of international support towards public education, in line with Ghana?s obligations to focus its efforts on its core obligation towards the vulnerable group in the society.

GNECC is increasingly concerned about the poor quality of public education which has resulted in lack of public confidence in and poor patronage of the public basic education system in Ghana.
Tackling the issues holistically, the CRC has requested the Government of Ghana to ??provide detailed information on the reasons behind the increase in private education and the low quality of public education, including lack of teachers and teacher absenteeism, in the state party, limiting the access to quality education for children who cannot afford private school tuition.?

Secondly, ?provide data, disaggregated inter alia by age, sex, socio-economic background, ethnic origin for the past three years, on: (a) the enrolment and completion rates, disaggregated by sex and in percentages, of the relevant age groups in pre-primary schools, in primary schools and in secondary schools; (b) the number and percentage of dropouts and repetitions; and (c) the number of children attending private schools.?
The Coalition pointed out that the deepening inequalities in access to quality basic education is devastating in a sense that only the rich can afford the private institution whiles the poorest and marginalized majority are at disadvantaged to the inefficient public schools.

Source: By Abubakari Seidu Ajarfor, [email protected]

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