The People’s National Convention (PNC) has promised to offer free education at all levels from kindergarten to tertiary, and increase funding and investment in the educational sector by 15 per cent of Gross Domestic Product.
The PNC explained that although enrolment in schools increased over the last decade through various government interventions including the free Senior High School (SHS) policy, access to education still remained a challenge.
The PNC in its Election 2020 Manifesto tagged: ‘Delivering Prosperity to all Ghanaians,’ under the sub-headline ‘Education,’ outlined a free education programme, which seeks to ensure 100 per cent enrolment for all children.
The party said if voted into power on December 7, a PNC government under David Apasera as President and Pastor Divine Ayivor as the Vice President will ensure the full operationalisation of the Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education as enshrined in the 1992 Constitution.
According to the PNC Ghana needed reforms in its educational sector to attain quality education alongside access.
In this regard, the PNC Government shall empower Assembly and Unit Committee members to ensure the enrolment of all children in basic schools within their jurisdiction.
The Unit Committee’s members will also ensure even distribution of school infrastructure to address the needs of schools under trees in rural areas; “broaden and deepen innovation, creativity and problem-solving skills in basic education”.
The PNC said it would establish a National Science, Technology and Innovation Village (NSTIV) in the nature of the Silicon Valley of the USA to allow pupils or students access to these areas to equip their technical knowledge and problem solving skills.
“A PNC government will also train and post career guidance and counselors at the basic level to direct pupils or students and their career paths; review the management and administration of the Capitation Grants to ensure that schools in deprived districts receive more as compared to those in endowed municipalities and metropolises.
“Ensure that the capitation grant reaches all schools before the beginning of each term, as well as set up a system to evaluate the impact of the free education policy”.
The PNC said it will provide learning aids for research and extra curricula training.
On Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET); a PNC Government will establish 200 technical and vocational schools at various communities in every district across the country.
Institutionalize the skilled-based informal sector and encourage apprenticeship and industrial attachment among TVET students into the sectors; institute free apprenticeship and artisanal training for unemployed youth to offer them employable skills.
The PNC in its manifesto will resource and expand the Integrated Community Centres for Employable Skills.
A PNC Government will award 20 per cent of government works and housing contracts to TVET institutions, which will serve as a resource to these institutions.
On Tertiary Education; the PNC explains that under its free tertiary education for all qualified Ghanaians, it will re-align tertiary programmes to industry requirement and human resource needs of the country.
Institute Compulsory industrial attachment of tertiary students to local industries and introduce GHC 100 million Students Innovation Funds to promote competitive innovations in enterprise solutions amongst tertiary students.
The PNC also seeks to offer incentives for Teachers and Educational Workers; offer car loans for all teachers in the public sector, offer duty free car importation facility for all Professional Teachers and Educational workers.
It will also provide adequate accommodation facilities for Teachers posted to rural schools; introduce mortgage schemes for all Teachers and Educational workers for them to own their own houses upon retirement.
A PNC Government will also introduce scholarship for management and administrative studies for Teachers interested in becoming School Managers and Head Teachers.