Education think tank – Africa Education Watch following a government promise to supply tablets to all Senior High School students has asked the central government to rather use the money to provide textbooks for basic schools.
EduWatch’s suggestion comes after Vice-President of Ghana, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia at the 74th Annual New Year and School Conference said the government is on course to provide the tablets to all Senior High School students.
“We are on course to provide all Senior High School students in Ghana with tablets preloaded which are loaded with textbooks on them for their studies. That is a game-changing development,” the Vice-President said at the conference.
According to him, aside from the electronic tablets loaded with textbooks, the device will also contain WASSCE for School past questions to help students prepare adequately for the international examination this academic year.
But reacting to the promise, the Education Policy Research Organization said the government has already provided textbooks, ibox, etc, in Senior High Schools making the need for tablets complimentary than urgent, albeit relevant.
“In 2023, the government increased the Free Senior High School (Free SHS) budget by about 30%, but this did not cover tablets, which may cost another billion,” Africa Education Watch said in a post sighted by AcademicWeek.com.
Citing the lack of textbooks in all primary schools, EduWatch said less than 30% of the basic schools’ textbooks were supplied last year due to financial issues as the students enter year four of the newly introduced curriculum.
“In such a period of austerity, why won’t government first find money to provide all needed textbooks and Capitation Grant for basic schools and purchase the tablets when the economic situation improves?” the think tank quizzed.
Africa Education Watch continued that “the issue is never whether or not the promise of a tablet for 1.3 million Senior High School students is possible, but its implications on equitable financing of pre-tertiary education in an austerity
According to UNICEF’s most recent (Jan 2023) report on education financing, Ghana, among other countries cannot transform its education without improving on equitable spending.”