EFFORTS TOWARDS ATTAINMENT OF A FREE COMPULSORY UNIVERSAL BASIC EDUCATION
Education is an important tool by which society can be transformed from poverty to economic prosperity.
It is education that makes it possible for the human resource base to be equipped with the right skills and knowledge to be used for the rapid transformation of a country`s socio-economic development. The success of operators in various sectors of the economy greatly depends on education. For example, well-educated society can turn out skillful people to operate successfully in sectors such as manufacturing, trade, telecommunication, health, building and construction industry, among others. It shows that education is what provides the antidote to various sectors of the economy, thereby, speeding up the process of economic development.
It is in the light if this, that the free SHS introduced by President Akufo Addo is commendable, seeing that it has increased access to education at the second cycle level. However good the free SHS system is, we need to ensure that all children of school-going age, from kindergarten onwards to SHS 3, are also given the opportunity to be in school to help them grow up and continue to enjoy the opportunity provided by free education at the second cycle level. There is already a desire to implement free and compulsory universal basic education, FCUBE, meant to ensure that basic education includes all children of school-going age from the kindergarten to the end of second cycle education.
This explains why the President’s desire to see to the implementation of FCUBE is a step in the right direction since it will maximize the output of children in the primary and second cycle institutions. As a nation, Ghana stands a chance of transforming itself towards economic growth if the right policies are put in place to support the education of all children from primary to the second cycle level. It is equally important to ensure that special focus is placed on the study on science and mathematics so as to boost the process of economic re-organization and growth of the various sectors of the economy in the country.
The transformation of a country does not come by chance but through a systematic science-based and conscious process geared towards consistent growth and expansion in the horizon of knowledge of the youth. If the youth are the future leaders of this country, then as a nation, we need to work hard and also double out effort towards the education of all children. The vision of the President regarding free basic education is most welcome. This is because it is a crucial fundamental step needed by the citizens of this country towards knowledge acquisition and application.
We need to relate the knowledge and skills of our children towards the effective utilization of all resources in this country to make life better for everyone since education is the vehicle of growth and development. Education is vital to the socio-economic development of every country and this is why we need to be happy about the placement of premium on education by the present Akufo-Addo administration. No country in the world has ever made it without sound education. Ghana’s adoption of the free education system is most appropriate so what must be done next is the provision of the needed support and encourage government to implement the free education program with all available resources for the attainment of the national goal of socio-economic development.
BY DR. KOFI AMPONSAH-BEDIAKO, DIRECTOR OF CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS, GHANA STANDARDS AUTHORITY.