The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) has condemned government over its failure to substantiate its stated achievements in education.
According to the party’s Policy Advisor, Boakye Agyarko, Deputy Minister of Education Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa failed to produce evidence to back government’s alleged achievements in the sector.
Mr Agyarko, in a press release on Friday September 23, said he finds that strange, “unless of course, this was a lie in the first place and cannot be substantiated”. “An enquiry into the Education Sector Performance of 2016 report published by the Ministry of Education, showed that the ‘core textbook to pupil ratio’ in public basic schools both at the National and Deprived District levels have been in decline since 2013/14. At the national level, it fell from 2.2 in 2013/14 to 2.0 in 2014/15 and to 1.7 in 2015/16. At the Deprived District level, the figures for the corresponding years are 2.1, 1.8 and 1.6, respectively.”
For him, this defeats the claims by government that “Ghana exceeded the universal textbook-pupil ratio of three textbooks to one pupil” in those years.
He maintained that the John Mahama-led government had neglected education.
He insisted that: “A government that lies about education cannot be trusted to solve the problems that plague the sector.”
Below is the full statement:
The Mahama government continues to sing itself hoarse about how much they have transformed the education sector. This week, Deputy Minister of Education Hon. Okudzeto Ablakwa was caught wrong-footed when pressed for more information about the NDC manifesto claim that 100 million exercise books have been distributed by the Mahama government since 2013.
Hon. Ablakwa promised to furnish the public with more information about this policy’s implementation the next morning. This information was supposed to have shown that indeed 100 million exercise books were supplied and that, in 2015 alone, 58 million books were given to Ghana’s children. Three days on, no information has been released. How difficult is it to present details of a policy that has been actually implemented to Ghanaians? Unless of course this was a lie in the first place and cannot be substantiated.
The NPP believes that there is much more to be done in transforming the education sector than the lies and mere rhetoric the NDC government continues to feed to Ghanaians. A government that lies about education cannot be trusted to solve the problems that plague the education sector.
The NPP press conference on Monday, September 19, pointed out that an extremely critical component of educating Ghana children – textbooks – had been neglected by the Mahama government.
This was in spite of the NDC manifesto claim that: “Twelve million five hundred thousand (12.5million) English, mathematics and science textbooks were distributed to public basic schools between 2013 and 2015. This enabled Ghana to exceed the universal textbook-pupil ratio of three textbooks to one pupil.”
A further enquiry into the Education Sector Performance of 2016 report , published by the Ministry of Education, showed that the ‘Core Textbook to pupil ratio’ in public basic schools both at the National and Deprived District levels have been in decline since 2013/14. At the national level, it fell from 2.2 in 2013/14 to 2.0 in 2014/15 and to 1.7 in 2015/16. At the Deprived District level, the figures for the corresponding years are 2.1, 1.8 and 1.6 respectively. (See page 21, Table 13).
On Tuesday morning, Hon. Okudzeto Ablakwa tried to explain this away by saying this was due to the increase in enrolment figures by 26% since 2008. This 26% he referred to is from page 10 of their manifesto. This claim, which originally appeared on Page 8 of the Green Book, refers to the percentage increase since 2008 of all students in Ghana, from nursery to university. And the core ratio we spoke about was only for primary pupils. We didn’t realise that university students in Ghana were supplied textbooks by the Ghana Education Service until Tuesday morning.
The NPP is proud of its track record in education under the able and competent leadership of President J.A. Kufuor. And we are extremely proud of our track record regarding the provision of textbooks for Ghana’s children as well.
The beginning of the first paragraph on page 13 of the Report on the Education Sector Annual Review (ESAR) 2006 states: “Textbooks at basic level were delivered to public basic schools in the first term of 2005/06 academic year. Approximately 90% were delivered by end of year, and each pupils/student now has textbooks for all subjects.”
The NPP is proud to be the first government since independence to have achieved this feat.
The NPP would, therefore, like to use this opportunity to appeal to Ghanaians to be discerning in distinguishing real achievements in the education sector from phantom achievements of the NDC government couched in flowery language.
This election is about the future of Ghana. This election is about the future of Ghana’s children. This election is about voting for a party that can provide the competent leadership to turn the education sector around and secure a future of well-educated, confident young people who will lead Ghana to an even more prosperous future.
The NPP has transformed education in Ghana before. The NPP can do it again. A vote for the NPP is a vote for brighter days ahead for us and our children.
...Signed... Boakye Agyarko (Policy Advisor, NPP 2016 Campaign)
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