Source: Daily Graphic
The Minority Leader, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, has called for the withdrawal of the Pre-tertiary Education Bill 2019 currently before Parliament for more thorough and broad consultation with stakeholders.
“I am not basically against decentralisation or decentralised roles in basic education but there are legitimate and major concerns raised by stakeholders. So my plea to the President is for him to withdraw the bill for a more thorough national consultation and discussions on it,” he stated.
He said the government must have extensive engagement with stakeholders such as chiefs, opinion leaders, educationists, teachers, parents, religious groups and managers of schools.
Mr Iddrisu, who is the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Tamale South in the Northern Region, made the plea in an interview with journalists when he donated 1,000 pieces of dual desk to some basic schools in his constituency on Tuesday.
The furniture estimated at the cost of GH¢300,000 was financed through Mr Iddrisu’s share of the MP’s Social Investment Fund (SIF) to support basic education in the metropolis.
The beneficiary schools included Badariya English and Arabic (E/A) Primary at Nyohini, Nuriya Central Primary School at Bulpela, Lahagu Islamic Primary at Lahagu, Dohini Islamic Primary School at Dohini and Tugu Yapala Islamic Primary at Tugu Yapala.
Mr Iddrisu said the importance of education to national development could not be underestimated and therefore it was crucial to provide the necessary logistics needed to improve education.
The Tamale Metro Director of Education, Mr Amatus D. Tug-uu, who received the furniture on behalf of the schools, thanked Mr Iddrisu for the support as well as coming to the aid of basic schools in the metropolis to enhance teaching and learning.
The Pre-Tertiary Education Bill, 2019 was laid before Parliament in June, last year and had gone through the first reading on the floor of Parliament.
The objective of the bill is to provide for a decentralised pre-tertiary education system and an educational system to produce individuals with the requisite knowledge, skills and values, to become functional and productive citizens for national development, to establish a Technical and Vocational Education and Training Service, and to provide for related matters.
Part one of the Pre-Tertiary Education Bill, 2019 provides for a decentralised basic education system in Ghana.
Per the decentralised system, the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies ( MMDAs) shall be responsible for the provision and management of basic schools in the country .
Mr Iddrisu in his submission on the bill before Parliament said the National Catholic Secretariat had raised legitimate concerns as to whether the MMDAs had the capacity or were ready to discharge the obligations imposed on them by the bill.
Mr Iddrisu also used the interview to call the attention of the President to another policy that sought to make secondary school education part of basic education in the country.
Quoting part of the 1992 Constitution to buttress his point, the Minority Leader said it was unconstitutional for Senior High School (SHS) education to be made part of basic education because Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education was a constitutional provision and in that constitutional provision it did not anticipate the addition of SHS.
He stated that he was not against the free SHS policy introduced by the Akufo-Addo Administration but rather to make SHS a necessary part of basic education was “wrong in theory, wrong in practice and wrong constitutionally”.