In a memorandum titled “Memorandum of Issues in the Basic Education Sector,” these 10 organizations expressed their dissatisfaction with the current state of education in the country, citing poor financing and numerous challenges.
One of the key concerns raised by the groups is the issue of overcrowding in some schools. They also highlighted the deplorable conditions under which some schools operate, including the use of trees, sheds, and dilapidated structures as classrooms.
Additionally, the lack of textbooks and exercise books for students, non-payment of utility bills, insufficient incentives for teachers in rural areas, and the politicization of teacher recruitment were among the other grievances mentioned.
The CSOs and teacher groups also criticized the government's “one student, one laptop” initiative, stating that it did not represent an efficient use of public funds in the face of underfunding in the basic education sector.
In an effort to revive the country's educational system, the 10 organizations put forward a series of recommendations.
These include the development of an emergency infrastructure expansion plan to address overcrowding in urban and peri-urban schools, bridging the gap between primary and junior high schools, providing new schools for underserved communities, and ensuring the provision of desks for the 2.3 million pupils in underserved schools.
They also suggested pursuing partnerships with the Forestry Commission and the private sector.
During a media briefing, a spokesperson for the organization, Joyce Larnyo, emphasized the need for increased budgetary allocation to education. She called on the government to raise the allocation from the current 12% to at least 15% of the total national budget.
Ms Larnyo also urged the government to prioritize the disbursement of the allocated discretionary education budget to improve budget execution.
Ms Larnyo criticized the proposed GH¢1.20 per child under the School Feeding Program, describing it as absurd.