A new Afrobarometer survey conducted by the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) has revealed that unemployment and education continue to be the most important problem that young Ghanaians want the government to address.
Job creation is first on Ghanaians’ list of priorities for additional spending to help young people, and citizens are willing to pay more taxes to fund programmes for youth development, the findings of the survey showed.
Six in 10 adult Ghanaians of all ages said they would support higher taxes to fund programmes to help the youth, while a similar proportion said job creation would be the highest priority if the government could increase its spending to help the youth.
With an allocation of over 6 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Ghana’s spending on education is among the highest in Africa.
In spite of the relatively high levels of investment, experts argue that the sector is not living up to expectations as standards are deemed to have fallen to an all-time low.
Spending on the sector, as happens in other sectors, has been found to be largely for recurrent payments in wages and salaries, instead of for investment in infrastructure, teaching and learning aids.
The state of education in the country, educationists argue, will restrict its ability to transform the economy from middle-income with HIPC infrastructure, low total factor productivity and weak systems, to the status of a developed economy.
Already, employers complain about the poor quality of graduates at all levels of education – with some decidedly giving preference to Ghanaians who have schooled abroad.
A World Bank report warns that millions of young students in low and middle-income countries face the prospect of lost opportunity and lower wages because their primary and secondary schools are failing to educate them to succeed in life.
The report, dubbed “Facing Forward: Schooling with Learning in Africa”, asked the Ghanaian government to invest in quality pre-primary education, which is critical to developing non-cognitive foundational skills.
Meanwhile, the government since 2017 has embarked on a free Senior High School policy that has increased enrolment by 50 percent to 1.2m students in second-cycle institutions across the country.
The Trades Union Congress, while commending government for its efforts in implementing the policy, has said that the only way free Senior High School will pay for itself is to put beneficiary Ghanaians into productive work.
Source : Business24