Manifesto Comparison NDC's promises on education: 2012 vs 2016

Pulse.com.gh looks at the education sector and the promises made by the NDC in their 2016 manifesto.

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The governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) officially launched its manifesto on Saturday, September 17, 2016.

The manifesto titled ‘changing lives, transforming Ghana’ is an 80-page document which elaborates on the achievement of the party since 2012 and the things they wish to accomplish between 2017 and 2021 if they win the 2016 polls.

Pulse.com.gh looks at the education sector and the promises made by the NDC in their 2016 manifesto.

In every sector, the NDC touted its achievements from 2012 till date before indicating what they plan on achieving after if they win election 2016.

Some of the achievements mentioned include the introduction of social interventions in the educational sector, increase in the number of basic educational institutions, increase in school enrolment, re-sit of under-performed BECE candidates for the first time, gender parity ratio of 1:1 has been attained at the Primary level, the construction of 123 out of the planned 200 Community Senior High Schools with ongoing commissioning of completed ones, increased the capacities of the tertiary institutions across the country leading to increased enrolments of 7.1% in the Universities and 3.4% in the Polytechnics amongst others.

Key promises made by the NDC in their manifesto is found below.

In the 2012 manifesto of the NDC, they promised to introduce “a one-year specialised program in the College of Education to train teachers in early childhood care and development” but in the 2016 manifesto the NDC promises to “establish special schools in designated Colleges of Education to train teachers solely for Early Childhood Care and Development.”

The manifesto also promises to review and implement the national policy on ‘Early Childhood Care and Development’. They also expect to put in measures to get parents more involved in the education of their children.

On the basic and secondary education front, the NDC in 2012 promised to eliminate the remaining 60% of identified ‘Schools-Under-Trees’ but in the 2016 manifesto, the party said it will complete the process of eliminating the remaining public schools under trees, and abolish the shift system countrywide.

They would also pilot the use of electronic textbook using tablets , complete the construction of 200 community day Senior High Schools and extend the progressively free SHS programme to the boarding house “with emphasis on needy students.”

Under a second term of President Mahama, the technical and vocational segments of the education sector will not be left out. The NDC intends to ensure gender equality by encouraging more girls to select Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) as a career option. The new technical universities will also be well-resourced so they do not depart from their core mandate. The manifesto further promises that the NDC will establish 50 Community Centres for Integrated Skills Development (COCISD). To ensure that all the plans for the technical and vocational segment are fulfilled a deputy minister will be appointed “with primary responsibility for TVET and technical education at all levels.”

On the tertiary front, an NDC government from 2017-2021 will complete the conversion of the 10 polytechnics into Technical Universities. However, in the 2012 manifesto, the party was certain this could be done by the end of 2016.

In helping teachers who teach all the students at various levels of the education ladder, an NDC government from 2017-2021 will still provide accommodation for teachers who accept postings to deprived rural schools and this promise was also made in the party’s 2012 manifesto. How much of it was accomplished especially with all the agitations from teacher unions on the transfer allowances that are in arrears among others?

They also intend to continue reducing the number of untrained teachers within the sector by continuing the expansion of the Untrained Teachers Diploma in Basic Education (UTDBE).

To enhance the learning and teaching of Mathematics and Science, teachers and students alike will be motivated. There will also be a re-introduction of incremental credit for Science, Mathematics, Technical and Vocational Teachers. There will also be an introduction of new strategies for attaining the national objective of 60:40 admission ratio in tertiary institutions in favour of the Sciences. The party also promises in its second term to ensure that the universities produce employable graduates for industries. This was also emphasised in the 2012 manifesto of the NDC. Yet still employers have complained several times that the University graduates do not still meet the working requirements. 

Bills have been initiated to ensure these changes take effect if NDC wins the polls on December 7.

The under-mentioned bills are being processed for enactment:

   • Chartered Institute of Bankers Bill

   • Education Bill

   • Library Services Bill

   • Ghana Book Development Agency Bill

   • Non-Formal Education Agency Bill

   • Tertiary Education Research Fund Bill

   • National Commission for Tertiary Education Bill

   • National Accreditation and Qualifications

   • Agency Bill

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