The Ministry of Education (MoE) in collaboration with the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) has launched the Basic Education Support Project, in Accra.
The project is expected to contribute to the improvement of the infrastructural facilities and equipment in 44 schools in five regions.
Rev John Ntim Fordjour, Deputy Minister of Education, who launched the project, said the government recognized the importance of a good foundation as a basis for quality outcomes.
He said the partnership with BADEA and the support granted government to refurbish the 44 structures were not just bringing 21st century schools or buildings and then operationalizing them, but it also to bring about transformation.
“Beyond infrastructure we are talking about transformation. We are not just getting donor support for the 44 districts, but we are looking at an opportunity to transform education in these districts that are going to benefit from it.”
The Deputy Minister said there was the need to understand the scope of the project and the very role stakeholders in the education sector must play, for them to take ownership of it.
He said, “this project is not going to be one that will be stopped along the line. It is something we are finishing within the time stipulated.”
Rev, Ntim Fordjour expressed appreciation to BADEA for the investment and assured that in the next five years, government would recount to them the success story of the many lives that had been changed and the new trajectory of the education journey that the school infrastructure has contributed to the educational system.
He reiterated that the government was committed to eradicating schools under trees and eliminating schools that were dilapidated. “As a matter of fact, we will ensure that every child in this country will have very decent structures to aid their academic journey.”
This is a unique opportunity for us all to want to own this project and want to ask questions where we wanted to know the specific roles we would play in our districts to be the ambassadors to this infrastructure developmental agenda.
Mr Sameh Azzuz, BADEA, said the main objective of the project is to contribute to the provision of quality education by increasing access to basic education in public schools and to create an enabling environment for teaching and learning which would have a positive impact in improving the quality of education in Ghana.
He said at the end of the project, there would be an increase in the percentage of enrollment in pre-school education from 74.6 per cent to 74.7 per cent. The rate of enrollment in primary education from 91.1 per cent in 2017 would increase to 91.4 per cent.
“The enrollment rate of intermediate education of 49.7 per cent in 2017 will also increase to 49.8 per cent. The 60 students in each class in 2017 will also reduce to 40, and the project will see improvement in the gender difference index from 0.96 in 2017 to 0.99 in 2021. Also, the 39.7 teachers per student as of 2017, will decrease to 36.5.”
Mr Azzuz noted that BADEA would support the project with an amount of USD 13.50 Million representing 90 per cent of the total USD 15 Million needed for the project, while government contributes an amount of USD 1.50 Million, representing 10 per cent.
Mr Adu Amponsah, Head Middle East and Africa Unit, Ministry of Finance, said it was government’s responsibility to source for funding both locally and externally to fund public projects and that the project was a manifestation of their efforts to see development in educational infrastructure.
“We received a request from the MoE for funding of some educational projects and BADEA happens to be one of our multilateral development partners, so they generously agreed to provide the funding when requested.”
Mr Amponsah noted that, “all that we want is the physical project manifested in space and being used, so as many as are part of this process must ensure that they take part to ensure the success of the project.”
Mr Divine Ayidzoe, Ag Chief Director, MoE said a conducive environment played a critical role in effective teaching and learning and as such, there was the need for the right leaning environment for students.
“The provision of the right infrastructure by BADEA therefore comes in very handy towards transforming the nation’s economy through education.”
Mr Ayidzoe commended BADEA for collaborating with government, saying good infrastructure boosted educational development since the availability of the right learning facilities promoted effective teaching and learning, while inspiring students to greater heights.