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2024 GAWE KICK OFF




Education is the cornerstone of personal development and a critical enabler of national progress. Recognizing the transformative power of education, Global Action Week on Education (GAWE) is an annual event that galvanizes attention and action to address educational challenges and accelerate progress toward universal education. In 2024, Ghana joins the global community in celebrating GAWE under the global theme "Transformative Education," from April 22 - 26, 2024 with a focus on innovative and sustainable approaches to education that can drive societal change.


Locally the celebration of GAWE is on the theme “Strengthening the Structures for Transformative Education in Ghana: The Way Forward”


Ghana's educational system however faces numerous challenges, ranging from inadequate infrastructure to insufficient budget allocations, which hinder the delivery of transformative education. In 2019, for instance, the Ministry of Education (MoE) introduced a Standard Based Curriculum which focuses on learning, and learning progression, using recommended participatory and creative pedagogies. Participatory, activity-based learning can only take place effectively in class sizes averaging 35, as recommended by the Ghana Education Service (GES). Unfortunately, the average class size does not support activity-based learning. The implication of such crowded classrooms will be the Standard Based Curriculum, being implemented with an old and ineffective talk-chalk, teacher-centered pedagogical approach. For example, schools like Oblojo MA 1 & 2 Basic (Weija Gbawe), Adjen Kotoku Basic, Papase Divine Mercy Roman Catholic Basic (Ga West), AdMA Model Basic (Adentan), Oyibi Presby Primary (Kpone Katamanso) and Umraniya Islamic Basic (Ga South) have between 80 to  120 pupils in a class.


Also, recent data from the 2021 Population and Housing Census (PHC) has brought to light concerns about the increasing number of children in Ghana, numbering 1,215,546 The children. The Savannah Region is particularly affected, with the highest percentage of children who have never attended school at 43.2%. This situation is compounded by the Government of Ghana's budgetary allocation to education, which, at 12.9% and 14.5% in the 2023 and 2024 national budgets respectively, are significantly below the 23% target pledged by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo. Unfortunately, Basic Education has seen a substantial budget cut, and there is a widespread lack of textbooks and poor school infrastructure.


The Global Action Week on Education provides an opportune moment to address these issues, engage with stakeholders, and set a strategic direction for the future of education in Ghana. In summary, GNECC is of the view that without a strong commitment to investing domestic resources into education, Ghana is unlikely to make significant progress toward transforming its education system which is essential for the overall development and future prosperity of the country.  

 

Objectives


The objectives of the 2024 GAWE celebration in Ghana are:


1. To highlight the critical role of educational structures in delivering transformative education in Ghana.


2. Advocate for transformative changes in the education sector to meet the 23% budgetary allocation target.


3. To engage policymakers, educators, students, and the community in discussions on improving educational structures and garner media attention and public support for transformative education initiatives.

 

Activities


1. Launch: An inaugural event featuring speeches from government representatives, educational leaders, and international partners to set the tone for the week's activities.


2. Panel Discussions: Sessions with experts focusing on the assessment of Ghana's educational infrastructure and budgeting, and the exploration of innovative solutions.


3. Expose on infrastructural challenges at the primary level:  Visits to schools to assess infrastructure conditions, engage with educators and students, and gather data for advocacy.


4. Media soiree: A strategic media campaign to raise awareness and support for transformative education, including interviews, op-eds, and social media outreach.


5. Press Conference: A closing press conference by the National Chairman to present the state of school infrastructure in Ghana, outline the week's achievements and announce commitments or plans for reform.


Expected Outcomes


The celebration aims to achieve the following outcomes:

1. A comprehensive overview of the current state of educational structures in Ghana.


2. Increased public and stakeholder awareness of the importance of strong educational structures for transformative education.


3. Strategic partnerships and commitments from government, private sector, and civil society to improve educational infrastructure and budgeting.


4. A set of policy recommendations and a roadmap for enhancing educational structures in Ghana.


5. A strong media presence and public discourse on the need for transformative education.

 

Conclusion


The 2024 GAWE celebration presents an opportunity for Ghana to catalyze transformative education and make significant strides toward achieving SDG 4. By addressing the critical issues of funding, infrastructure, and access to education, Ghana can ensure that all children can learn and develop to their full potential.

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