The Education Minister, Dr Yaw Osei-Adutwum, has rolled out a new set of uniforms for basic school students as part of an initiative to rebrand public education.

According to him, this is part of the rebranding efforts by the Education Ministry to enhance the image of public schools.

He made this announcement during an unveiling ceremony presentation at the University of Professional Studies, Accra.

Dr Adutwum said “You see, you don’t see brown and yellow, we are rebranding public schools. No brown and yellow, blue and white, and we are changing the uniforms too. This is President Akufo-Addo and Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia’s Ghana.

“We have begun the transformation. There’s no reason why we should not. Ghana deserves better, and we’re going to give them better, something that we can all be proud of.

Contrary to critics who say he has abandoned basic schools, Dr Adutwum insists this isn’t the case.

He envisions a day when parents will beg to enroll their children in basic public schools because he is setting things right.

“So they will say, we will give you credit, you have done well with Senior High School, but you have abandoned basic schools, children are sitting under trees and you talking about drones.

“To them, I have a response, I look forward to a day when parents will line up in front of the school and beg to enroll their children, that is the day and it will soon come and it has began under Nana Akufo Addo,” he added.

However, the move has been condemned by the deputy ranking member of the Education Committee in Parliament, Dr Clement Apaak, who believes it’s a misplaced priority.

He cited the neglect suffered by public basic schools and the arrears in capitation grants, which are crucial for the functioning of basic education. Dr Apaak questioned why resources are being spent on rebranding public basic schools instead of addressing these pressing challenges.

“Invariably, most of the government attention has been directed towards the free Senior High School policy and its implementation. As we speak, I know for a fact that capitation grants, which are the grants that allow us to say that public education is free because these are the grants that the head teachers of the basic school used to organise activities like cultural activities, sports activities, are in arrears for eight terms”.

“We even have a situation where only 65% of textbooks based on the new curriculum which came into effect in September 2019, have been distributed to our public basic schools across the country. We have more than 1.3 million people in the country who have no access to furniture and so why will government in spite of these glaring and debilitating challenges seek to spend resources in rebranding our public basic schools by introducing a new uniform,” he added.

This marks the second uniform change in the Akufo-Addo Administration, following the 2019 alteration by the then Education minister, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, now the Energy Minister.