The government has set aside 23 per cent of the national budget for educational development in the country, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has announced.
He said Ghana had no option but to invest in education because it was critical to the future development of the country.
The President said Ghana was moving away from exporting raw materials to processing them in order to add value to them, a development that required an educated and skilled human resource.
President Akufo-Addo said this at a presidential panel discussion on: “The way forward for transforming educational outcomes” during at a two-day Global Education Summit in London, United Kingdom (UK) Thursday, July 29.
The other panellists were the President of Kenya, Mr Uhuru Kenyatta; the President of Malawi, Mr Lazarus Chakwera; President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria and the Togolese President, Mr Faure Gnassingbé.
The two-day summit, which was co-hosted by the governments of the UK and Kenya, sought to raise at least $5 billion for the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) to give 175 million children from developing countries the opportunity to study.
Responding to a question on how Ghana was managing with expenditure on health in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and education, President Akufo-Addo explained that there was no conflict because the nation required a healthy and educated population.
He said the government had opened up access to education to give children, who would have otherwise missed out on secondary education, the opportunity to attain it.
President Akufo-Addo said after successfully expanding education at the secondary level, the government was replicating it at the tertiary level by cancelling the requirement for a guarantor before a student could access the students’ loan.
He said the removal of the guarantor aspect had significantly expanded tertiary education, with students only required to present their Ghana cards as proof of identity to access the loan.
Contributing, the co-host of the summit, President Kenyatta, explained that education was the foundation of life, adding that without strengthening education, Africa would not be able to achieve Agenda 63.
He added that education was a development tool for the children of the continent to use to achieve the agenda, emphasising that Africa’s greatest asset was the human capital that needed to be harnessed.
Mr Kenyatta explained that Kenya was committed to a 100 per cent transition of schoolchildren from basic through to secondary education, even though it presented a huge challenge.
For his part, President Buhari acknowledged the fact that education was fundamental, adding that Nigerians were aware of the importance of education and had prioritised it.
When he took his turn, President Gnassingbe said Togo prioritised early-year education because it was the foundation of learning.
He said he was championing early childhood education because even though 25 per cent of the national budget was allocated to education, a very insignificant portion was allocated to pre-school.
President Chakwera also explained that even though the COVID-19 pandemic had a devastating effect on society, it gave the youth the opportunity to be technologically innovative and creative.