Governments Have Failed Kingdergarten Children

The Coordinator of Bono, Bono East and Ahafo Activista, a global youth movement, Shadrack Kwadwo Adjei has observed that although the new basic education structure is made up of 2 years Kindergarten, 6 years Primary and 3 years Junior High School, however government over the years has failed to provide decent infrastructure for kindergarten pupils.

According to Activista Coordinator, more than half of kindergarten across the country lack access to decent classrooms, kids learning materials and conducive environment that can propel effective teaching and learning.

Mr. Adjei, therefore, called for an educational system that are more relevant, equitable and inclusive which very crucial in achieving sustainable development.

Speaking during Media Engagement in Sunyani, Mr. Adjei further revealed that most of the teachers teaching in Kindergarten are untrained teachers which are affecting quality at the foundational level.

The Media Engagement was part of activities to mark this year’s International Youth Day which was organized by Activista, a youth movement in collaboration with Young Urban Women Movement and Brong-Ahafo Chapter of Tax Justice Coalition sported by the Brong-Ahafo Office of ActionAid Ghana.

The global theme for this year’s International Youth Day 2019 was “Transforming education”, highlights efforts to make education more relevant, equitable and inclusive for all youth, including efforts by youth themselves.

Rooted in Goal 4 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” – International Youth Day 2019 was focused to examine how Governments, young people and youth-led and youth-focused organizations, as well as other stakeholders, are transforming education and how these efforts are contributing to the achievement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

In Ghana, he noted indigenous youth, young people with disabilities, young women, young people belonging to vulnerable groups are facing additional challenges to accessing education that respects their diverse needs and abilities as well as reflects and embraces their unique realities and identities.

This, the Activista Coordinator noted education is key in unlocking the potential of all young people and preparing them for future opportunities.

“We must ensure our education system and knowledge we share, advances feminist alternatives, challenges hetero-normativity, patriarchy and gender norms that hinder progress toward gender justice and equality”.

The Brong-Ahafo Coordinator for Tax Justice Coalition Ghana, Raphael Godlove Ahenu in his presentation on Financing Education in Ghana, said to ensure that all girls have a good quality education, governments in developing countries need to increase their spending on education and improve its quality.

“One key way to raise extra resources is by increasing tax revenues, and one major way to do that is to reduce or eliminate the tax incentives that many governments now offer, especially to corporations. This ‘tax expenditure’ causes a massive loss of potential revenues that could be spent on improving education and other public services”

Recent research by ActionAid, according to him, shows that governments in sub-Saharan Africa may be losing around US$38.6 billion a year, or 2.4% of their GDP, to tax incentives. This is equivalent to nearly half (47%) of their current education spending.

Mr. Ahenu was of the view that privatizing education is not the solution and governments must spend public funds on public education to ensure equal access and meaningful youth empowerment.

The Bron-Ahafo Programme Officer for ActionAid Ghana, Kwame Afram Denkyira, urged the government to ensure the provision of quality education to all without discrimination in the spirit of leaving no one behind.

He urged African governments to invest in quality education that is transformative for its citizens, adding that, education is a ‘development multiplier’ in that it plays a pivotal role in accelerating progress across all 17 Sustainable Development Goals, be it poverty eradication, good health, gender equality, decent work, reduced inequalities, action on climate change or building peaceful societies.

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