Mrs Vivian Doe-Ablosu, Volta Regional Manager of the Presbyterian Education Unit, has observed that the nation was carrying a “heavy baggage” of illiterates into the new world order of galloping scientific development.
She said it was not good that after 58 years of self rule, and despite the rich and abundant resources, a “significant chunk of the adult population remains illiterate”.
Mrs Doe-Ablosu made the observation when she delivered the keynote address at the Sixth Quadrennial Conference of the Women’s Committee (Volta) of the Teachers and Educational Workers Union (TEWU) of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) in Ho.
It was on the theme: “Quality Education-The Bedrock for Regional Development,’ and attended by 86 delegates.
Mrs Doe-Ablosu observed that besides that high illiteracy rate, there were even serious issues of capacity and utility of those going through the educational system for some time, necessitating rounds of reforms.
She said the new content and structure drawn from findings of the Dzobo Review Committee in 1987, “with added addendum” along the line to date, was still thought to be inadequate for the needs of the country.
“After nearly 20 years of those reforms, we are still talking about quality of education in our educational system,” Mrs Doe-Ablosu observed.
She said indications of appalling standards were the criterion reference tests, baseline surveys, BECE and WASSCE results.
“The results of criterion reference tests since 1992, indicated that less than 10% of primary six pupils in public schools exhibited mastery in English Language, while less than 5% exhibited mastery in Mathematics,” Mrs Doe-Ablosu said.
She said quality education should equip students to meet the socio-economic, political and cultural development of the country, and for that matter the region, assist students to get marketable skills, unearth the creative talents, dormant and hidden in them, and develop high moral standards among others.
Mrs Doe-Ablosu stressed the need for some cost-sharing at all levels of education, due to rising cost, and that the 40 to 50 percent of the national budget earmarked for education was woefully inadequate.
She said there was the need for action by all stakeholders to raise the quality of education, as the current standards “cannot propel us to become a middle level income country by the year 2020”.
Madam Johanna Hammond, National President of the TEWU Women’s Committee, urged members to stay united, as the setting for the future appeared different and more challenging.
She said the gains over the years should not make members complacent.
Mrs Millicent Damesi, President of the Volta TEWU Women’s Committee, appealed to heads of organizations and institutions to make members feel like part of staff working to attain same organizational goals. GNA