Highlight of the 2018 education budget

Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance

The Education Sector Strategy will be guided by Global Education 2030 Agenda and Targets, defined by Sustainable Development Goal 4: “Ensure Inclusive and Equitable Quality Education for all and promote Lifelong Learning”.

The broad sector policy thrust for Education is Sustainable and Efficient Management of Education Service Delivery, with focus on teacher development and accountability; Improved Quality of Teaching and Learning at all Levels; Inclusive and Equitable Access at all Levels; Skills Development and Training for Employability through Quality TVET; and strengthened Mathematics, Science, ICT and Technology Education.

Basic Education Curriculum Reforms
To improve the quality of basic education and equip the Ghanaian child with basic literacy, numeracy and critical thinking skills, the Ministry of Education commenced the process for reviewing the basic level curriculum to emphasise the 4 R’s (Reading, wRriting, aRithmetic and cReativity). In 2018, the ministry will complete the curriculum reforms and define national pupil standards in literacy, numeracy and creativity. In addition, the common national assessment system will be implemented to measure pupil achievement against set benchmarks.

Teacher Professional Development
In accordance with the Education Act 778, government is implementing measures to ensure Continuous Professional Development (CPD) of teachers through registration and licencing of teachers under the Pre-Tertiary Teacher Professional Development and Management (PTPDM) scheme.

Pre-Tertiary Education bill
The Pre-Tertiary bill approved by Cabinet proposes devolving the management of Basic Schools to the Assemblies, and management of Senior High Schools to Ghana Education Service (GES) and Ministry of Education (MoE) Headquarters. In 2018, the bill will be laid before Parliament.

Basic Education Programme
The number of basic schools (both public and private) increased at all levels. KGs increased by 5.4 percent, Primary 5.4 percent f and Junior High Schools 7.0 percent between the 2015/2016 and 2016/2017 academic years.

Capitation Grant
In fulfilment of government’s promise to make basic education free and ensure participation by all, the Capitation Grant was increased by 100 percent from GH¢4.50 per capita to GH¢9.00 in 2017. Mr. Speaker, it is worth stressing that this increase by the Akufo-Addo government was the first-ever increase in the Capitation Grant since 2009 – meaning in all the 8 years that our friends, the social democrats, were in office. I am happy to announce that there will be a further increase to GH¢10.00 in 2018 under this government.

BECE Subsidy
Government absorbed 70 percent of the 2017 BECE registration fees as subsidies for all registered candidates in both public and private JHSs. In 2018, government will absorb 100 percent of BECE registration fees for registered candidates from public Junior High Schools.

Basic Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (Bstem)

The Ministry will next year begin the infrastructural works toward introducing the Basic Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (BSTEM) programme in all basic schools. This initiative is intended to strengthen the foundational skills and generate interest in mathematics, science and technology. This will involve the provision of equipment to over 38,000 public basic schools, training over 38,000 basic school teachers in the delivery of BSTEM, and the establishment of 10 well-equipped Regional BSTEM centres.

Technical/Vocational Education and Training
TVET reforms leading to the alignment of public TVET institutions under the Ministry of Education will continue in 2018. The reforms will include developing occupational standards, training of facilitators and assessors, and strengthening Competency Based Training (CBT).

Teacher Trainee Allowance
Government restored the Teacher Trainee Allowance covering over 49,000 teacher trainees from 41 public Colleges of Education for the 2017/18 academic year. In addition, funds were released for the payment of outstanding Feeding Grants to all public Colleges of Education for the 2015/16 and 2016/17 academic years. In the 2018/19 academic year, a projected number of over 52,000 Teacher Trainees will benefit from the allowance.

Commission of Tertiary Education
A report was submitted for the enactment of a law to establish a unified Commission for Tertiary Education to deal with policy formulation, implementation and accreditation, among others. In 2018, the ministry will begin implementing recommendations that will reform university accreditation and affiliation policies toward introducing equity and fairness in the setting-up of public and private universities.