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General News of Thursday, 26 August 2021

Source: Abdul Karim Ibrahim, Contributor

Address inequality challenges in education sector - AASU to government

Edmund Akoto Bamfo, Chief Technical Officer of the All-Africa Students Union Edmund Akoto Bamfo, Chief Technical Officer of the All-Africa Students Union

Chief Technical Officer of the All-Africa Students Union, Mr Edmund Akoto Bamfo has charged governments in Africa to work assiduously to address problems of inequality in education.

Speaking on Accra-based Onua 95.1 FM together with former Director of Ghana Education Service, Mr Charles Aheto-Tsegah and member of NAGRAT, Mr Richard Kwashie Kovey, Mr Akoto Bamfo expressed worry at the widening gap in educational infrastructure and technology between Africa and other continents.

He argued that Ghanaian and African students face an extremely difficult situation compared to their counterparts in the West especially. To that end, Mr Akoto Bamfo noted that education policy in Africa should not only aim at increasing access but also work very hard towards equity and quality.

Recently, calls for Ghana Education Service to be fixed have garnered strong support, especially on social media. The advocacy started by Teacher and Social Media sensation Teacher Kwadwo takes a cue from the popular FixTheCountry Movement in Ghana and exposes structural challenges within the Ghana Education Service and education delivery broadly.

One would recall that in 2018, Ghanaian teacher, Richard Appiah Akoto drew a detailed Microsoft Office interface on a chalkboard to teach his students ICT. Photos of it went viral on social media and attracted support from individuals and corporations including the Microsoft Company. These stories mirror in great detail the state of education in many parts of Africa.

Addressing these pervasive challenges, Mr Akoto Bamfo challenged African governments to commit invest more in education to be able to bridge the wide gap between African students and their contemporaries in more developed continents.

Apart from the concerns raised by the Chief Technical Director of the All-Africa Students Union, issues of teacher remuneration and incentives were also tabled for discussion. Former Director for Ghana Education Service, Mr Charles Aheto-Tsegah and member of National Association of Graduate Teachers, Mr Richard Kwashie Kovey highlighted the plights of teachers and the need to train and motivate teachers appropriately to promote quality education.

The panel agreed generally that the state of education in Ghana and Africa requires swift and comprehensive actions that would promote access and quality. They bemoaned the failure of states to take charge of education further leading to excessive privatization and its attendant exclusion.

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