Africa Education Watch with other Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) has petitioned the board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to remove expenditure cuts in the basic education sector to improve quality education in Ghana.
In a statement shared with AcademicWeek, the education think tank said the brutal expenditure cut in the education sector is making it difficult for the country to meet conditionalities for its Extended Credit Facility application.
The education budgetary cuts it said have not only reduced education’s share of the national budget but also affected, by over 40 per cent, the allocation of resources for providing teaching and learning materials in public basic schools.
Affected teaching and learning materials the Watch said are textbooks, which have been in short supply since a new curriculum was adopted four years ago, funds for managing basic schools (Capitation Grant), and basic school infrastructure.
The expenditure cut, the Education Policy Research Organization also said has threatened to reduce the number of beneficiaries of the one hot meal a day intervention for 3.5 million public basic school children by up to 25 per cent.
“These pernicious expenditure cuts are happening at a critical time when 1 million Ghanaian children aged 4-18 are out of school, over 5,000 public basic schools exist under trees, sheds, and dilapidated structures
2.3 million public basic school children in the country do not have access to desks, and less than a quarter of primary school graduates are exhibiting minimum competencies in Mathematics and English
This is not only inimical to the attainment of universal basic enrolment and completion with relevant learning outcomes by 2030, but the sustenance of modest gains made recently in enhancing equitable access,” it noted.
The over 500 Civil Society Organizations across the country following their concerns jointly have petitioned the International Monetary Fund to restore the 40 per cent cuts in the basic education budget for goods and services.
The education think tanks have also asked the international financial agency to review the 2023 budget to reflect a minimum of 15 per cent national budgetary allocation and 4 per cent of GDP to education.
The Civil Society Organization’s (CSOs) petition comes after the Monetary Fund on December 12, 2022, reached a staff-level agreement with the government on economic policies and reforms to be supported by about US$ 3 billion.