WELCOME ADDRESS DELIVERED BY RICHARD KWASHIE KOVEY, CONVENOR OF CAPCOE, AT MENSVIC GRAND HOTEL DURING THE EDUCATION SPIKE RESEARCH CONVENING ON 23RD NOVEMBER 2021
Mr. Chairman, Honorable Deputy Minister for Education/Rep, Executive Director - Africa Education Watch, Reps from OXFAM Ghana, Representatives from Teacher Unions-GNAT, NAGRAT, CCT-GH, TEWU, National Coordinator GNECC, Secretary General - All Africa Students Union, Reps from NUGS, our friends from the media, Ladies and Gentlemen.
It is with great honour, that I welcome you all to this engagement at Mensvic Grand Hotel. The Education Spike campaign team made up of EDUWATCH, CAPCOE, students unions made up of AASU and NUGS, with support from OXFAM Ghana, commissioned Africa Education Watch earlier this year to undertake a study on the state of Ghana’s public education with focus on basic schools.
The aim is to re-assess the state of Ghana’s education in line with the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on education at the basic level. It is also to help our advocacy in promoting quality public basic education in meeting SDG 4 by 2030.
Mr. Chairman, Article 38(2) of 1992 constitution of Ghana mandates government to provide free universal quality basic education for all Ghanaian children irrespective of gender, geographical location, religion, disability or socio-economic status.
CAPCOE i.e. Campaign Against Privatization and Commercialization of Education, a key partner with Africa Education Watch is a committee made of representatives from all teacher unions at the pre-tertiary level and Civil Society Organisations represented by Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition.
The committee is mandated to advocate for:
i. increased funding for public basic education to promote effective teaching and learning by at least 50% of Education budget.
ii. improved physical infrastructure for public basic schools to decongest overcrowded classrooms for effective teaching and learning.
iii. Timely provision of modern teaching and learning resources.
iv. Making public education accessible to all children irrespective of where they find themselves.
CAPCOE and partners are therefore, not against private individuals securing license to operate private schools but very worried about the emerging developments where the private sector is seen to be taking over the responsibility of the state in providing basic education at a fee for even poor households living in rural and peri-urban communities. That we consider unacceptable and unconstitutional. For example, in lower middle class municipalities like Adenta, over 92% of basic schools are privately owned. Only 7% provide FCUBE, while poor parents are compelled to pay fees or watch their children drop out. Mr. Chairman, this phenomenon contributes to the over 400,000 children not having access to basic education and the 36 who dropout each day from basic schools.
It for this reason that today’s meeting is very important if we must meet SDG 4 by 2030.
We are inviting the ministry of education to collaborate with the EduSpike Campaign team to collectively address the issues raised in the findings of the study.
On this note I welcome you once again. Feel free, Let’s have fruitful deliberations.