SEND Ghana has urged the Ghana Education Service (GES) to ensure that private kindergarten schools which have not been accredited are given a limited time period to follow the right procedure to gain accreditation. It said 32 percent of private schools have not been accredited.
The organisation recommends that the GES should ensure that all qualified private kindergartens (KGs) are accredited before being allowed to operate.
Mrs Harriet Nuamah Agyemang, the Senior Programme Officer of SEND Ghana, made the recommendation in Accra at the launch of a report on kindergarten education dubbed: “Education For All: Is Ghana Leaving Kindergarten Behind?”
The study was conducted by SEND Ghana and funded by the World Bank and the Global Partnership for Social Accountability.
The study, which commenced in May 2017 and lasted for three months, targeted two private and two public KGs per district except for Wa East, which had no private KG.
The study had 118 of 120 schools in 30 districts in the Greater Accra, Northern, Upper East and the Upper West regions.
Mrs Agyemang said the Report revealed that 49 per cent of KG teachers were untrained, and the situation was worse in private KGs where about 76 per cent of teachers were untrained, exceeding GES target of five percent of untrained teachers teaching in KGs.
Based on the findings on untrained teachers, Mrs Agyemang urged the Ministry of Education to create training modules that allow such teachers in the field, both private and public, the opportunity to upgrade their knowledge and skills on how to convey the right content to KG pupils.
She also implored the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies to play a critical role in ensuring that professional teachers are deployed in private KGs in the country.
Mrs Agyemang said GES standards include a sick bay, a minimum plot-size for classrooms and a standard for pupil-classroom ratio of 40:1.
The study, however, found that 14.4 per cent of the sampled KGs did not have classroom buildings let alone meet standard size and structure, and that some buildings were dilapidated with foundations almost falling apart.
It found that 11.9 per cent of KGs did not have furniture and that for those with furniture it was mostly inadequate and inappropriate.
Mrs Agyemang urged government to provide safe and adequate infrastructure equipped with furniture that met standards to enhance access and quality KG education.
SEND Ghana is calling for a one-time investment in teaching and learning materials for at least all public KGs and private ones operating in impoverished areas to ensure that many children have access to quality KG education.