Executive Director for Africa Education Watch, Mr. Kofi Asare has called on the government of Ghana and the Ministry of Education to consider finding textbooks for students rather than giving them free tablets.
He is of the view that though the distribution of tablets to students in the senior high schools is good, the current circumstances of the education sector do not justify the course hence the focus should be on making textbooks available to every student in Ghana.
“I think that even though tablets are important, I think that finding money to provide textbooks to all schools in Ghana is more important. Less than 30% of text books have been distributed and are in only three subjects” he disclosed.
Mr. Asare told Helen Appiah Ampofo in an interview on 3FM Sunrise Morning Show that the bigger challenge with the ‘one student one tablet’ promise by the Vice President Dr. Bawumia is that no budgetary allocation was made for it in the 2023 national budget.
“What I know is that it was not included in the 2023 budget. Considering the number of students that are to receive the tablets, it can be estimated that about one billion cedis is needed to buy the tablets for the about 1.7 million students” Mr. Asare stated
Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia stated in his speech during the 2023 ‘New Year School’ at the University of Ghana, Legon on Tuesday, January 17 that all Senior High School students in Ghana will be equipped with tablets which are loaded with textbooks and past examination questions for their studies.
In the estimation of the executive director of Africa Education Watch, the tablets for students’ project should be piloted in about twenty schools to have a better idea of execution before being extended to all schools.
“We rush on the procurement issues and crash on the systemic issues with such policies. A proper management system is required, other than that, it will end up as an avenue for procurement activities. We can have a way to roll it out without stampeding other important needs”.
Mr. Asare complained that systems for ensuring the proper management of the items are not there and brought to light the need for effective communication to have a system in place so that we will not have to be spending more money to procure new tablets after a few years as a result of mishandling of the tablets.
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