The Center for Socioeconomic Studies (CSS) had demanded a clear timelines for the resolution of the continuing unavailability of textbooks for Basic School students almost three years after the Nana Akufo-Addo led government introduced a new curriculum.
The Students News desk, as sourced from Myghanamedia.com, had gathered that the demand came in the wake of reports that government had asked schools to abandon the new curriculum for the old one a year into its use. According to CSS, the development paints government as grossly irresponsible as the situation affects the Ghanaian child’s right to education. That had led to teachers relaying several complaints about the unavailability of the text books as they argued the situation kept on making teaching and learning difficult.
In a statement issued by a Research fellow Albert Wotorgbui, CSS said the unavailability of the textbooks is consistent with declining budgetary allocations to the education sector. He stated, “Worryingly, the total expenditure on education has seen an unfortunate consistent decline from a relatively high of 19.49% of total expenditure in 2017, to 15.98% in 2019, 16.08% in 2020, and now to a very low budgetary allocation of 12.11% of total budgeted expenditure for 2021”.
He therefore emphasized that the decline in funding to the education sector had affected budgetary allocation to the two institutions responsible for the development of textbooks and the teaching and learning materials that were supposed to accompany the new curriculum. He said, “Again, it is important to note that in nominal terms, the 2021 budgetary allocation of GHC15.63 billion to the Education Ministry is approximately equal to the total expenditure of GHC15.55 billion in 2020; a year in which the total expenditures of the Ghana Book Development Council and the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment were GHC1.37 million and GHC1.23 million respectively.”
According to him, the insufficient budgetary allocation to both institutions responsible for the development and provision of the textbooks and the accompanying relevant teaching and learning materials yielded no results in 2020, suggesting similar outcomes and with basically the same budgetary allocation, 2021 promises nothing worthy, to talk of solving the problem”. The CSS therefore demanded an explanation and clear timetable for the resolution of the situation which had existed for almost three years.
The CSS also demanded from the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service an explanation as to why the unfortunate situation persists for nearly three years down the line and the institution of immediate steps to address this debilitating situation.
He concluded by demanding that, “The Ministry and the GES must provide Ghanaians as a matter of urgency a timeline for the resolution of this situation in order to prevent further deterioration of Ghana’s Basic Education”.