Feature Article of Fri, 17 Feb 20171

What does education Act 778 mean for Ghana?

By Anthony Kwaku Amoah

Introduction

This happens to be the first in the series of articles that the author has set to produce on education for this year. And on that score, he salutes the Manhyia South MP, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, on his appointment as the new Education Minister of our Republic.

It is appropriate for us as teachers, education workers, parents, students, citizens and stakeholders to always remind ourselves of pertinent education acts, policies and programmes, such as the 2008 Education Act 778, and to work hard for their growth.

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The fact is that several attempts have been made and shall continue to be made to adopt an education system which is relevant to the total attainment of our needs and aspirations and which can help improve the living conditions of all citizens.

We have had, as a country, major education acts, such as the Accelerated Development Plan for Education (1951), the Education Act 87 (1961) and the Education Act 778, which is the most recent Act that this write-up seeks to briefly dilate on with readers.

Objective of Education Act 778

The GES School Management Committee Resource Handbook (2010) says the objective of the Education Act 778, which is still in operation, is to provide for the establishment of an educational system intended to produce well-balanced individuals with the requisite knowledge, skills, values, aptitudes and attitudes to become functional and productive citizens for the total development and democratic advancement of the nation.

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Under the Act, provisions have been made for non-formal and life-long education as the Ministry of Education and District Assemblies (DAs) establish open colleges in the country’s districts. The open colleges and life-long educational establishments are expected to provide avenues for formal education and skill training as determined by the Minister of Education through a legislative instrument.

The content of Education Act 778

The Education Act 778 seems to have presented some lofty packages for the nation, including the right for every child of, at least, four years to access basic school education as recognised for that purpose by the Minister of Education.

The Act, through FCUBE, allows for free and compulsory access to basic education with DAs providing the needed infrastructure and other facilities in educating the child. And to ensure that every child enjoys quality basic education, the Act creates the room for parents, who deny their children education, to appear before the social welfare committees of DAs for appropriate action(s) to be taken.

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The Act also gives the Education Minister the incentive to initiate measures for implementing an effective decentralisation programme, where DAs shall have the executive duty to provide and manage basic and second-cycle schools in the country.

One good thing about education acts and reforms is that they do not just emerge from anywhere and anyhow. They are usually an upgrade of what is already in existence or has existed before following proper assessment and evaluation of an existing system.

A careful analysis of the content of the Education Strategic Plan (2010-2020), for example, which gives prominence to policies, such as Inclusive Education, ICT in Education, technical and vocational education, non-formal education, HIV/AIDS education, among others, tells us that nothing comes from the skies. They are simply an add-on to the already existing educational Acts and Plans, including the Act 778.

No educational act, plan, policy, programme or project, no matter how attractive it may appear, can succeed without the support of stakeholders, including teachers, parents and organisations. So let’s all continue to strive for our nation’s education to develop!

The writer is an educationist and a public relations officer of Ghana Education Service.E-mail: amoatec27@yahoo.com/amoatec109@gmail.com

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