Government have been called upon to prioritise basic education by allocating enough resources to the sector particularly the disadvantaged and people living in the rural areas.
Freeman Gobah, Country Director of Pencils of Promise, a non-governmental organisation disclosed the five years of their operation in Ghana saw unpleasant conditions of children in early childhood education in the public sector which needs to change.
Mr. Gobah made the call in an address at the handing over of a four-unit kindergarten classroom block to the Mafi Atitekpo Primary School in the Central Tongu District of the Volta Region.
Though early childhood education must come with the best facilities, one will not be surprised to spot poor surrounding, poor infrastructure, lack of learning materials, teachers with no or low qualification teaching the children.
Per the Sustainable Development Goal 2030, early childhood education is more than a preparatory stage assisting the child’s transition to formal schooling.
It places emphasis on developing the whole child by taking into recognition his or her social, emotional, cognitive and physical needs to establish a solid and broad foundation for lifelong learning and wellbeing.
On the contrary, across the length and breadth of this country schools right from the kindergarten are bedeviled with infrastructural challenges which keeps making it difficult for the academic success of those who happen to attend these schools.
Making reference to the death of six kids in the Central Region as a result of a collapsed school block, the country Director of Pencils of Promise, an NGO, Freeman Gobah, believes stakeholders must put premium on early childhood education and provide the appropriate facilities for them.
“When you go round, you will realize that a lot of the kids study under unsafe structures. Even if the Junior High School have good classrooms the kindergarten will be under a tree and for us at Pencils of Promise, we want it to be changed.”
“Even if it’s 3-unit classroom, give one to these young ones and the rest will share whatever is left. We are appealing to the Ghana Education Service and government to address this,” Mr. Gobah further stated.
He said the NGO was committed to collaborating with policy makers and stakeholders on the need to integrate policies on quality education into development plans and channel resources into such programmes.
Headteacher of Mafi Atitekpo Primary School, George Akporhor appealed to the district assembly to refurbish their block after bitterly lamenting about how the current structure poses danger.
“Our primary block becomes very hot which can even compel one to go out during contact hours. The children complain a lot as they lack concentration when lessons are going on.”
“The situation can affect the performance of the pupils in the final year because we feed the JHS with the pupils. If the foundation is weak as a result of poor infrastructure and lack of teaching and learning materials, they under perform in the final exam,” Mr. George Akporhor said.
Meanwhile, he said there’s the need to begin a revolution of ensuring that every child goes to school in a safe environment with standard infrastructure and enough teaching and learning materials. According him, only then can we declare that we’re pursuing accessible, equitable and quality education in Ghana.
Source: Sefakor Fekpe