The World Bank’s latest Human Capital Index (HCI), which measures the amount of capital needed for a child born in the country today to become productive when they grow up, sends a chilling message that the nation ought to take note of.
The aim of the Index is to support long-term, measurable progress toward better outcomes in education, health, nutrition and social protection, the Bank says.
The World Bank Head Lead, Dr. Antonio Guiffrida, revealed that the harmonised test-scores of students in Ghana was 307 – on a scale where 625 represented advanced attainment and 300 represented minimum attainment.
Minister of Education, Dr. Mathew Prempeh; Deputy Minister, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum; and the National Education Campaign Coalition (GNECC) National Coordinator, Veronica Dzeagu, were present when the report was made public this week in Accra.
Directors and Heads of Units and Divisions of the Ghana Education Service (GES), among other stakeholders, were also in attendance, and we are glad that the movers and shakers in the country’s educational sector were present to hear what the report says about the country’s education and how it impacts national life and the vision of building a prosperous future.
The quality of education in the country still leaves a lot to be desired, and Guiffrida was unequivocal when he observed that the way forward for improving education in the country is investment in quality education.
He also noted, sadly, that although the country is endowed with a lot of natural resources, the weak capacity of its human resource prevents the country from sustainably developing same. Therefore, it can be deduced from the report that the country’s poor showing on the HCI can be attributed to poor quality of education coupled with inadequate investment in the sector.
This should provide a lot of indication as to what needs to be done so as to improve the quality of education – apart from investing more in the sector to produce better outcomes in terms of our human resource capital.
Government’s vision is to expand education access, particularly in Senior High Schools, and that is commendable. However, improving quality at the basic level and expanding access should see students with better literacy and numeracy skills by the time they are ready for Senior High School.
Issues like teacher-absenteeism and the poor quality of teachers contribute in no small measure to the poor quality of human capital that is turned out from our institutions. Going forward, we need to adopt all means at our disposal to improve the quality of education so that we are able to produce the men and women required to take the country to the next level.