Ghana is among the highest spenders in the education sector in Africa, with more than 6 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) spent on the sector. This is according to a World Bank report. The country comes behind Swaziland, Malawi, Niger, Senegal and Mozambique who spend between 9 and 6.5 percent, which is above the 5 percent average of a country’s GDP expected to be spent on education globally.
The 6 percent spending is likely to increase considering the implementation of government’s Free Senior High School education policy, which Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia has indicated that spending will increase by GH 1 billion.
In the wake of huge amounts spent on the country’s educational sector, some Ghanaians have raised concerns about the disparity between the amount spent and the gains the country currently derives from the sector. They argue that quality of education including quality of teachers, access to education and provision of infrastructure do not correlate with the amount spent on the sector.
The quality of graduates who pass through the Ghanaian educational system has been questioned as some have argued that they may not be able to help build strong institutions and systems which will help the country reach a desirable level of development.
The World Bank report titled ‘Facing Forward: Schooling with Learning in Africa’ which rated Ghana as one of the highest spenders in education proposed some intervention areas. The report suggested that the government must invest in early childhood education to help build a strong foundation and improve schooling, jobs and even earnings. It pointed out the need to create equal learning opportunities by implementing policies which will fill the gaps between access to education by privileged children and the underprivileged.
The correlation between getting access to quality education and having a successful working life cannot be denied, therefore it is important to note that the report has also indicated that millions of young students in low and middle-income countries stand a chance of losing opportunities and taking lower wages later in life.
Generally, the World Bank report has pointed out some of the challenges in the educational system which need to be addressed and the significance of ensuring that all students regardless of their societal background are given access to good, timely and quality education to increase their chances of success in life.
Established that Ghana is spending more on education with the potential of the figures increasing, it is important for strengthened systems in the sector and prioritization of access and quality. As established by the report, equal access and quality of learning tools must not also be compromised. This could be a gateway for the country to achieve the gains of its investment in education.