Let’s address educational infrastructure need – Eduwatch

By Kodjo Adams

Accra, Feb.14, GNA – The Africa Education Watch (Eduwatch), an education think tank, has asked corporates to support efforts at addressing infrastructural challenges in basic schools to improve learning outcomes.

The NGO said collaboration between local Assemblies, religious groups, civil society organisations, and private institutions was critical in addressing the inadequacy of desks in public basic schools.

Mr Kofi Asare, the Executive Director, Eduwatch, said this on Wednesday, at a convening to discuss a draft Corporate Support Framework for Basic Education Infrastructure in Accra.

Data from the Ministry of Education as of 2021 revealed that over 2.3 million pupils did not have desks in public basic schools.

Also, over 5,000 basic schools exist under trees, sheds, and dilapidated structures.

He said even though the government was working to address desk deficits in basic schools, it was important for corporate institutions to support efforts at addressing the challenges.

He said the government was a key actor in supplying infrastructure projects to schools but was challenged due to financial constraints.

He said Eduwatch, with the support of the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, in partnership with the STAR-Ghana Foundation, was implementing a project dubbed ” SERVE III”.

The project, he said, was to promote girls’ participation in education through improved access to desks in public basic schools.

As part of the implementation of the project, he said a study on the impact of desk deficits in public basic schools on girls’ education was commissioned.

He said during a dissemination report in 2023, stakeholders recommended innovative collaborations and approaches towards supporting local Assemblies in providing infrastructure for schools.

The recommendation, he stressed, necessitated a collaboration between Eduwatch, the Office of the Head of Local Government Service, and the Ministry of Education to develop the framework.

He urged the participants to contribute to the discussions, adding that there would be a final high-level meeting to validate the framework for publication.

A speech read by Mrs Lilian Baeka, Chief Director of the Greater Accra Regional Council on behalf of Madam Felicia Dappah, the Chief Director, Office of the Head of the Local Government Service, said the framework, when developed, would improve the education and personal development of children of school-going age.

She encouraged all actors to contribute towards financing basic education infrastructure, especially desks in public basic schools.

The participants suggested the mounting of boxes at malls to solicit support from the public, while others called on the government to increase budget allocation for basic schools.