Education think tank, Africa Education Watch, has called on the government to uncap funds allocated to GETFund to help improve the quality of education in the country.
The education think tank says capping funds allocated to GETFund is hindering the progress of education in the country since monies are not readily available for disbursement.
Speaking during a review of the Education Sector Medium Term Development Plan from 2018 to 2021, the Executive Director of Africa Education Watch Kofi Asare called on the government to allocate 50% of its public education expenditure towards basic schools.
“If education is the priority, the foundation must be the topmost priority which is basic education and the only way to make it a priority is that, you fund it and demonstrate that it’s a priority. Once we have basic education adequately funded, we are having at least, 50 percent of government’s expenditure on education. We will then see appreciable amount of resources to provide for schools.”
He also revealed that basic public schools are the most affected ones.
“Averagely, we are abandoning about 110 projects at the basic school level. It’s because the Finance Ministry has not released funding from the GETFund and without GETFund, you can’t expand facilities. That is the main source of funding for infrastructure. So the Finance Ministry must first uncap the GETFund and bring education money to education”, he added.
Slow growth of public basic schools
One of the major findings in a recent research report, put together by Africa Education Watch and other partners, showed the lack of Junior High School (JHS) education for more than 4,000 primary schools across the country.
It thus bemoaned what it calls the over-privatization of education at the basic level in the country, particularly at the JHS level.
The situation, according to the group, is aggravating both financial and geographical access to education for children of school-going age, particularly those in rural communities.
Titled, the Education Spike Project (EduSpike), it is aimed at promoting investment in public education to improve quality public education as commercialization impacts access, equity, and standards in pre-tertiary education.
It revealed that more than 400,000 children, approximately 1 in 4 pre-primary age children, are still not enrolled in kindergarten, with over 147,000 dropping out between kindergarten and Junior High School.
That’s not all, the distribution of learning outcomes has been inequitable, with learners in public schools recording lower academic attainments compared to their counterparts in private schools.