Eduwatch advocates adoption of day school system to maximise sector gains


The Executive Director of the education-focused organisation, Africa Education Watch (Eduwatch), Kofi Asare, has reignited calls for a shift from the current free boarding secondary education system to a day one, saying the policy flies in the face of international best practices.

This, when done according to him, would enable the government to save costs and free more resources to improve the country’s educational system. “We need to adopt international best practices as we seek to improve our education system so as to maximise gains in the sector”.

He made these remarks at his outfit’s 2023 Education Financing Conference held in Accra.

Aside from the high cost of running it, he cited the current level of indiscipline and moral decadence in the country’s boarding schools as one of the key factors eroding its gains and negating the good perception that one had from boarding education in the past.

“Today’s boarding schools are different from the ones we attended where there was much discipline. Parents now have the responsibility in ensuring the moulding of the behaviours of their children because the current boarding school system lacks the capacity to assist in that regard.

“There is that debate out there of boarding school being a platform for cultural socialisation and mixing but it does not mean that those who do not attend boarding schools do not socialise. And besides, there is no evidence that they are half baked,” Mr. Asare explained.

Madam Dorothy Konadu – Board Member of Eduwatch in her welcome remarks at the event, noted that the conference is to provide the platform to explore mechanisms for improving domestic financing of education and leveraging disaggregated data and new analysis tools for ensuring equity in resource allocation within the education sector.

She added that It seeks to explore options for improving access to free Senior High School (SHS) by students from poor economic backgrounds while seeking to secure the commitment of relevant state agencies towards improving the responsiveness of the Students Loan Trust Fund and Scholarship scheme to the financial needs of Ghanaian tertiary students.

According to her the conference has become necessary because the declining investments in education is affecting equitable access to public education from the basic through to the tertiary level.

“Since 2016, education as a percentage of government expenditure has decreased gradually from 19.5 per cent to 14.5 while within the same period the percentage of GDP to education has reduced from 5.4 per cent to 3.3 per cent,” she elaborated.

She further noted that with the lifting of the financial barriers by the free secondary education policy which costs government over GH¢3 billion annually, about 10 percent of Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) candidates placed are unable to honour their admission-a situation she said raises concern about the possibility of significant cost barriers to secondary education.

She said although the demand for tertiary education has also increased owing to the free SHS policy, resulting in over 400,000 secondary school graduates annually, gross tertiary enrolment still lagged by 19 per cent against the target of 25 per cent set in the 2018-2021 Education Sector Medium Term Development Plan.

“Access to tertiary education by secondary school graduates from poor economic backgrounds continues to be hampered by the high cost of pursuing tertiary education in Ghana. Eduwatch estimates that it costs an average of GH¢15,000 annually to pursue a bachelor’s degree programme in Ghana. This, coupled with an unresponsive student’s loan and public scholarship scheme, further excludes the poor, who are the main patrons of public education,” she elaborated.

Eduwatch is an education policy research and advocacy organisation working with civil society organisations, government and the private sector to promote an equitable, accountable and responsive education system that assures quality and equal opportunities for all.

The education financing Conference is part of several activities being implemented by the organisation as part of its Strategic Partnership for Education Project II with the support of Oxfam.


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