EI Africa urges governments to invest in Education

Education union representatives from Ghana, Senegal, Nigeria, and Zambia convened at the Mensvic Hotel in Accra, Ghana, for the public event on education financing . The Education Financing Forum, which took place on June 22, 2023, aimed at urging governments to enhance funding for public education. 
In his opening remarks, Christian Addai-Poku, EI Africa Regional Committee (EIARC) Chairperson, said that EI strongly believes that the only way to achieve this fundamental human right is to make education available, accessible, acceptable, and adaptable (the 4 As), through adequate public funding. He underlined that a countries’ development hinges on the quality of its education systems and that of our teachers.
He emphasised that “well-funded education systems can help the continent to develop the required workforce needed to effect equitable and people-centered social, economic, and technological transformation and the eradication of poverty”.
He decried how governments reel under the loan conditionalities and policy advice of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which usually imposes cuts or freezes on public sector expenditure and wage bills, which undermines education as a fundamental human right and a public good. Caps on public spending often negatively impact teachers and education support personnel by restricting staff recruitment and improvement of salaries and working conditions, he added. 
“Join us in this launch of the Go Public! Fund Education Campaign in Accra to call on African governments to meet their commitment to ensuring equitable, inclusive quality education for all by allocating adequate education funding in line with the internationally agreed education financing benchmarks of at least 6% of GDP and/or at least 20% of the national budget”, he invited.
In his submission, Dr Dennis Sinyolo, Regional Director, EI Africa, recalled that African governments' made commitments to education. These commitments included “ensuring inclusive, equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all” as stated in Sustainable Development Goal (SDG)4.
He also urged the unions and governments to push for not only a fair share of the education budget but also be mindful of the size of the budget to ensure that the governments realised bigger budgets. Additionally, the budgets should be under scrutiny to make sure that the funds are used on the correct priorities and are sensitive to the marginalised.
“Governments must close tax loopholes like tax holidays/exemptions, tax evasion,  tax avoidance, and fight corruption to make more money available for education”, he concluded.
The Honourable Minister of Education, Ghana, Dr Yaw Adu Twum, on receiving the  ‘Go Public! Fund Education’ statement, acknowledged its relevance saying that he, most of all, wanted increased financing of public education. He went on to illustrate the efforts of the Ghana government to promote education. He sighted the Free Senior High School education policy. He also demonstrated the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) programmes that were putting up state-of-the-art schools to promote science among girls.

[Thu, 29 Jun 2023 16:57:00 +0200] | DIGG THIS

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