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Business News of Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Source: The Ghanaian Journal

African Development Bank cancels grant to Ghana

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has cancelled grant support for Ghana's educational reforms, TODAY can state on authority.

Officials of the Bank, the paper's checks at its headquarters in Abidjan, Cote D'Ivoire have established, are not too keen on committing to the agreement reached with the previous Ghanaian government because actions of the current administration on the country's education reforms do not guarantee a genuine commitment to the Kufuor proposal.

With the apparent non-committal of the Mills' government to the four year reforms programme of the Kufuor administration, the AfDB officials believe any attempts to implement anything contrary to the grant agreement reached with the previous administration would be against the spirit of their loan and agreement portfolio.

And until they were convinced about the genuineness of the NDC government’s commitment to the exercise, as was proposed by the previous government, the Bank, TODAY gathered from official sources, would be withholding the grant arrangement between Ghana and the Bank until such a time that they would be convinced about the commitment of the Mills administration to the previous arrangement.

The Kufuor administration sourced the Bank’s support for the Junior and Senior High School reforms in 2007 with the disbursement due this year.

The Bank committed the grant to the Kufuor administration after a careful study and acceptance of the proposal sent by the immediate past administration. Under the arrangement, students were expected to complete the Junior and Senior High School tiers in three and four years respectively.

Also included is a compulsory two-year Kindergarten programme for children, in addition to the six year primary education, making the duration of basic education enrolment in Ghana eleven years.

With the anticipated grant to support the educational reforms, the Ministry of Education started the revision of text books for basic, Junior and Senior High Schools to suit the proposed reforms to cover the period that in the anticipation of the Kufuor administration, the new reforms would cover.

However, with the decision by the Mills’ administration to revert to the original three year programme, the text books have become waste and dumped, resulting in dire consequences on the State purse and the budget allocation for the Ministry of Education.

TODAY established that the Mills’ government has put in place Curriculum Research Experts to put out a paper on how to revert to the three year programme.

Yet with the government’s decision already set in operation, Vice President John Mahama Dramani this week disclosed government’s intention of meeting political parties to brainstorm on the country’s educational reforms.

Some stakeholders have expressed reservations about the Vice President’s proposal, arguing that such a forum cannot exclude other stakeholders like the schools themselves, parents and other identifiable bodies.

But a source at the office of the Vice President explained to TODAY that the Vice President’s proposition was premised on the history of that in most cases, it is the political parties which in the event of winning power determine such issues.

And so if all political parties agree in one direction, the source said, there would not be the need for changes, even if there should be a change of government.