Formal education builds competitive approach and gives unique experiences which boost the confidence of children and expand their circle of knowledge. There are a few billionaires like Bill Gates, Ritesh Agarwal, and Gautam Adani who achieved success without having a college degree, but education played a crucial role in laying the foundation for their success.
The basic knowledge and experiences gained are what allowed the wider picture to emerge in their later life. It is against this background that President John Dramani Mahama saw the need to invest in the development of children at the basic level of education in Ghana.
In 2013, the Mahama-led government distributed 12.5 million English, Mathematics, and Science textbooks to public basic schools. This enabled Ghana to exceed the universal textbook-pupil ratio of three textbooks for one pupil.
By the time President John Dramani Mahama was leaving office, Ghana’s textbook-to-pupil ratio stood at 4:1 (four textbooks for one pupil.) Before this achievement, three pupils used to share one textbook.
Besides, 1,437,500 readers, 6,900 teaching manuals, and 9,200 teaching guides were distributed to facilitate teaching and learning.
Aside this, President Mahama made many other unprecedented interventions to improve basic education in the country.
For instance, about two million pupils were supplied with free school uniforms from 2010 to 2016.
Also, a total of 854,040 BECE candidates benefited from the payment of BECE subsidies.
The total coverage of the School Feeding Programme was increased from 441,189 children to 1,693,000 children. It was fully funded by the Government of Ghana after the Dutch Government withdrew its funding.
To improve ICT education, 60,000 free laptops were distributed to Basic School pupils in all the then ten regions, under the Basic School Computerization Program. Furthermore, 50,000 basic school teachers across the country benefited
from ICT training.
To further consolidate these gains and offer more opportunities for Ghanaian school children, the following interventions were made:
Ten thousand free locally produced school sandals were distributed to pupils in selected deprived districts.
Under the unequaled Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) Resit Policy, one thousand, one hundred and eighty-one (1,181) candidates had the chance to resit their BECE as private candidates in February 2015. These were persons who, but for this golden opportunity would have had their education terminated at the Junior High School level.
Apostle Paul in Philippians 4:8 of the Bible said: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think of these things.”
In a similar vein, I want you to think of the above-mentioned achievements of President Mahama at the basic level of education in Ghana: whether they are true; whether they are honest; whether they are just; whether they are praiseworthy, and whether they are of good report.