Mahama urges dialogue over suppression in education sector


John Dramani Mahama, former President of the Republic and flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), has stated that suppressing free speech, victimising and intimidating stakeholders in the education sector will not resolve the issues at hand.

He said the best approach to tackling the sector’s challenges is through dialogue with key stakeholders who play central roles in policy implementation, rather than resorting to suppression.

“As you’re aware, our education sector is at a crossroads and the best way to address the challenges in the sector is through dialogue with key stakeholders who are at the centre of the implementation of policies in the education sector – not through suppression of free speech, victimization and intimidation,” he reiterated.

The former President said during engagement with pre-tertiary sector teacher unions, at a policy dialogue programme held in Accra. He voiced his concerns about the apparent neglect of basic level education, noting that a significant portion of the sector’s resources is being allocated to the Free Senior High School (FSHS) programme.

“Our basic schools have been neglected. The sector has been characterized by poor implementation of reforms that have not been properly thought through—changes in the syllabus without accompanying textbooks and other learning materials persist,” he added.

He assured stakeholders that if elected as President in the next December elections, his government would consistently engage with the agencies and associations directly involved in education delivery. This engagement aims to ensure that policies are well thought out to deliver the needed outcomes.

He added that as a social democratic party, the NDC believes in participation as a hallmark of good governance. This practice, he said, helps shape policies to make them more responsive to citizens’ needs.

“Today’s meeting is yet another demonstration of the fact that the NDC is ready to listen to you and work with you to improve our education sector. The party has always taken and will continue to take the inputs of the unions into account when formulating educational policies,” he reiterated.

The teacher unions, including the National Association of Graduate Students (NAGRAT), Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), Coalition of Concerned Teachers, Ghana (CCT-GH), and Teachers and Educational Workers Union (TEWU), presented a position document titled “Demands to the Political Parties on Education Delivery in Ghana for Consideration and Incorporation into their 2024 Manifestoes.”

Mr. Mahama described the proposed policies as significantly reflecting the work already done by the education committee of the party. “Many of the concerns you raised in the document are germane and relevant and achievable in collaboration with you,” he said.

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