Public basic schools all around the nation require more than one million desks to enable successful teaching and learning, according to Africa Education Watch (Eduwatch), a think tank and educational consultant.
It claimed that as of 2021, 2,330,893 students in basic schools lacked access to writing and seating facilities.
Out of that figure, it claimed that 596,949 were in kindergarten, 1,308,479 were in primary school, and 425,465 were in junior high school (JHS), and that over a million desks were required to remedy the situation because the country used a twin desk policy at the basic school level.
At the Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition’s (GNECC) Global Action Week for Education (GAWE) kickoff in Accra, Senior Programme Officer at Eduwatch Divine Kpe made this point clear.
Dr. Peter Obeng Asamoah, executive director of the Ghana Blind Union (GBU), served as its chairman.
The celebration’s main objective was to raise awareness of the fourth and final Sustainable Development Goal (SDG), which is to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.”
Mr. Kpe claimed that the furniture shortage was a result of secondary infrastructure receiving more financing than the fundamental level.
He added that the large desk gap was one of the main reasons some parents chose not to send their kids to school, according to the data that was available.
He continued, “The lack of desks in schools affects children’s academic performance and may cause children to not feel comfortable staying in school, putting them at risk of dropping out of school.”
In the future
Mr. Kpe advised the media and civil society organisations (CSOs) to inform the populace and the government of the implications of the desk situation in basic schools for achieving SDG 4 in order to enable local residents to demand action from local government to address the issue.
By removing the cap on the GETFund and revising the formula for allocating capital expenditure (CAPEX) to take into account the demands of basic education infrastructure, he demanded that money for the construction of this infrastructure be raised.
Call on Government
Education is not a privilege but a human right that has been enshrined in SDG 4 for which GNECC is fighting, according to Joshua Nyumuah, vice chairman of GNECC. “Then we have to use all the tools to lobby and advocate Ghana to do the needful,” Mr. Nyumuah stressed. The government was doing the best it could, but more resources were needed to be channeled into the sub-sector to avoid a “educational accident.”
There were words of support from GNECC partners and stakeholders in the education sector.
ActionAid, Oxfam, CAMFED, the Ghana National Association of Teachers, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, the Ghana Education Service, and the Complementary Education Agency were among them.
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