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AASU, partners petition parliament over public basic education

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Students union in parliament

The All-Africa Students Union together with a Coalition of Local and International Civil Society Organisations and development partners with interest in education has petitioned parliament over the need to increase investment in public basic education to improve quality.

The petition delivered on 17th November 2021 to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Education forms part of broader advocacy toward the Education Spike Campaign with the aim to promote investment in public basic education to improve quality, as commercialisation continues to adversely affect access, equity and standards in pre-tertiary education.

In a statement issued by the group including Coalition Against Privatization and Commercialization of Education (CAPCOE), OXFAM, National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS), and Africa Education Watch, they observed that quality basic education has increasingly become the preserve of private schools, a situation which they say leads to “an inevitable demand for private education and low demand by the citizenry for public education”.

This, the group believes raises critical concerns for equity and access to quality education.

The group prior to converging at the Parliament House in Accra engaged in consultative meetings with the Ghana Police Service for necessary permission in conformity with relevant local laws to embark on a peaceful placard-holding event at the entrance of the Parliament House.  

Participants held placards with inscriptions “#DO NOT CUT OUR FUTURE” as an appeal to the state to do more to ensure the future of all especially the underprivileged who are getting priced out quality education.

At the Parliament House, the group was received warmly by the Education Select Committee led by Chairman Kwabena Amankwa Asiamah.

He lauded the group for their efforts and assured them that education issues were of utmost importance to the government of Ghana.

For his part, Deputy Ranking Member on the Committee, Clement Apaak also assured the group of Parliament’s commitment to considering the recommendations outlined in the petition.

Speaking on behalf of the petitioners, the President of the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS), Mr Nana Boakye Yiadom also expressed his appreciation to Parliament and stressed the essence of education as a social leveller and hence the need to ensure that especially poor people are not left out of quality public education.

In a related development, the All-Africa Students Union and other partners including the Global Students Forum comprising all continental student unions also released a statement on the occasion of International Students Day on 17th November 2021, reiterating the need to consolidate gains made in education by increasing investment, strengthening access and ensuring quality.

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