International Day of Education: Savana Signatures calls for urgent steps to address challenges

Non-governmental organisation Savana Signatures wants the challenges in the education sector to be addressed as they continue to militate against the successes chalked. 

In its statement to mark International Day of Education, Savana Signatures stressed that challenges such as inadequate funding and lack of infrastructure in schools need to be addressed.

“The current budgetary allocation for education, which stands at 12%, significantly fall short of the government’s target of 23%,” it said in the statement on Tuesday, January 24.

“This inadequacy is causing significant challenges in the sector, particularly in the area of school feeding.”

Find the full statement below:

As we mark International Day of Education today, we acknowledge the significant impact education has on shaping the future of individuals, communities, and societies. Education is vital in addressing critical issues such as poverty, inequality, and sustainable development. The theme for this year’s celebration, “to invest in people, prioritize education” is particularly relevant in this context.

Investing in people, particularly through education, is one of the most effective ways to building a brighter future for individuals, communities, and societies. Education is a powerful tool for empowering individuals to reach their full potential, and it is also key to addressing many of the world’s most pressing challenges, such as poverty, inequality, and sustainable development. When we prioritize education, we are investing in the future of our children, our communities, and our nations. Education is not just about acquiring knowledge and skills, it’s about developing the whole person; their critical thinking, creativity, and emotional intelligence. It gives individuals the tools they need to navigate the complexities of the modern world, and to make informed decisions that will shape their future. It is important to note that a more educated population is more likely to be productive, healthy, and engaged citizens. They are more likely to be economically self-sufficient, and less likely to be dependent on government support. They are also more likely to be active and informed citizens, who can contribute to the development of their communities and nations.

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Despite the progress made in recent years to increase access to education in Ghana, there are still many challenges that need to be addressed, such as inadequate funding, lack of infrastructure, and lack of access to quality education. The current budgetary allocation for education, which stands at 12%, significantly fall short of the government’s target of 23%. This inadequacy is causing significant challenges in the sector, particularly in the area of school feeding. Secondary school heads are now expressing concerns over the low funding provided under the government’s Free Senior High School policy, which only allocates 1.50 cedis per student per day for school feeding. This funding is not sufficient to provide students with nutritious meals, and as a result, many schools are facing food shortages. The situation requires urgent attention from government to resolve the issue by increasing budgetary allocation to the sector.

Today, as we mark the International Day of Education, it is also important to address the issue of indiscipline in our educational system. Recent incidents of destructive behaviour in schools, , which sometimes result in injuries, highlights the need for the intensification and or the introduction of Social and Emotional Learning in our schools. The classroom is a diverse environment where students encounter individuals with various backgrounds and perspectives. To ensure equal opportunities for success, social and emotional learning (SEL) is crucial in helping students understand their own thoughts and emotions, increase self-awareness, develop empathy towards others, and make responsible decisions.

Overall, it is our collective responsibility to ensure that all individuals have access to quality education, and to prioritize it as a key element of our long-term developmental strategies as a nation.

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