Ghana's education sector would be better off without Ministry of Education - IMANI
Posted on: 2013-Oct-02        
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The Ministry of Education has failed to live up to its functions as a supervisory body of the country's education system and must therefore be scrapped, Vice president of policy think tank IMANI-Ghana has stated.

According to Kofi Bentil, the challenges facing the sector are the result of the "huge leadership failure coupled with the over-centralisation of power at the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service".

"There is one big factor; zero leadership...If we had no Ministry of Education, Ghana's education will be better," Mr. Bentil stated on the Super Morning Show on Joy FM Wednesday, October 2, 2013.

"Go to the slums today; you have school dropouts teaching poor children for GH¢1 a day and they are passing [with grades] better than children in schools taught by trained teachers," he said.

The 2013 Global Corruption Report (GCR) has revealed that corruption is impacting negatively on the education of children in many developing economies. According to the report, Ghana's education sector scored 4 out of a maximum score of 5, with 5 being countries whose education sectors are most corrupt.

The rate of teacher absenteeism was comparatively high as 24% of teachers were reported to abandon their classroom. This, Mr. Bentil said, was "attributable to inadequate formal supervision and disciplinary action."

Chief Policy Analyst at the Ghana Institute for Public Policy Options (GIPPO), Dr. Charles Wereko-Brobby attributed the development to the "breakdown of the system", a situation he said has compelled people to "find ways to survive".

"People we put in power abuse the exercise of those powers...resulting in the failure of leadership", Dr. Wereko-Brobby observed.

Bizarre Report

However, Deputy Education Minister, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has described the report by Transparency International as “bizarre”.

Contributing to the discussion via telephone, Mr. Ablakwa said although government accepted there were challenges with the system, "we cannot swallow such reports hook line and sinker because the implications are too serious for the country".

He questioned the methodology used by Transparency International and accused the group of transposing findings of other countries on Ghana.

“Government is rejecting this report vehemently; we are very much opposed to the report; the methodology used is suspect - very blanket statements have been made - corruption has not been defined; it remains a nebulous and amorphous concept” he stressed.