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Free basic education is false – Fiifi Kwetey

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fiifi_kwetey-Free basic education is false - Fiifi KweteyForum for Setting the Records Straight, a unit created by the National
Democratic Congress (NDC) to correct "wrong information" on the
campaign trail, on Wednesday said the claim by the New Patriotic Party
(NPP) that education at the basic level was free was false.

"Our
investigations have revealed that every school pupil at the basic level
fully pays for his school uniform which constitutes, according to the
Ghana Living Standards Survey (GLSS 1995), 17 per pent of household
expenditure on education," he said.

Mr. Fiifi Kwetey, National
Propaganda Secretary of the NDC, said this at a press conference by the
Forum to set the records straight on NPP’s claims regarding the
educational sector.

He said every child entering Primary One in
the average public school in Accra had to spend about GHC 17 to buy
stationery and other materials which are about six times more than the
capitation grant.

On the School Feeding Programme, Mr. Kwetey
said the government’s own Preliminary Education Sector Performance
Report (2007/2008) stated that only nine per cent of children in public
primary schools were benefiting from the programme.

He also
referred to the Anamuah-Mensah Committee report on education reforms
submitted in 2002 saying the government was advised by the committee
not to change the education system.

"One whole academic year
after the introduction of the reform, neither the syllabus nor a single
textbook is available to students," he said.

Mr. Kwetey noted
that the only reform that took place was the change of name "which is
more important to the government than quality of the education to be
provided".

He said while government was boasting about
unprecedented levels of enrolment in schools, the reality was that in
the year 2006, 66 per cent of all Senior Secondary School students who
sat the Senior Secondary School Certificate Exams (SSSCE) failed with
that of 2007 being 60 per cent.

Mr Kwetey added that evidence
showed that the quality of education was dropping, but the government
was talking about quantitative increment.

He said an
illustration of the level of education infrastructure the government
had provided over the last eight years vis-a-vis the government of the
NDC showed beyond doubt that the NDC had outperformed the NPP in spite
of the heavy foreign inflows since 2001.

Source: GNA

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