Election Manifestos must address inequalities in rural-urban education – NGO

The Africa Education Watch (Eduwatch), an education think tank, has challenged political parties to develop purposive interventions in their manifestos that will bridge the rural-urban gap in basic education for a balanced growth in the sector.

It observed that basic schools in rural communities had suffered discrimination in the deployment of resources for ages, resulting in poor quality of education and academic performance.

Mr Kofi Asare, the Executive Director of Eduwatch, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), said majority of Ghana’s schools under trees were in rural communities where education was characterised by the lack of furniture, inadequate teachers, textbooks and teaching materials, among others.

Owing to the lack of Junior High Schools in some areas, many students dropped out of school after primary six, he added.

‘Our message to the political parties is that it is not okay to accept the tradition that schools in deprived areas must see the children sleeping on floors to write,
go to school without adequate teachers and textbooks and not pass well as urban schools,’ he said.

‘As a country, if we are using education as a tool to eradicate poverty and reengineer our society, our education system cannot itself be another tool for discrimination.’

Mr Asare said the next government must focus on committing resources that would favour deprived schools to create a level playing field across board.

He contended for instance, that rural schools must receive high capitation grants and teacher deployments than urban schools where teachers were in some instances, overpopulated.

‘If we give the rural schools the same facilities and resources as urban school, I am sure government won’t have to give protocol allocations to rural public schools before they can have access to the category A schools.

‘We want the manifestos of the political parties to focus on bridging the rural urban divide so that we can have a fair playing field as we move towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals i
n the next six years,’ he stressed.

Source: Ghana News Agency