The Education Minister-nominee, Matthew Opoku Prempeh, has indicated that, government will be looking at consolidating basic education before pursuing any form of free tertiary education, saying that is not time-bound.
Speaking during his vetting by Parliament’s Appointments Committee, Mr. Opoku Prempeh said his focus will be ensuring quality at the foundation levels of basic education.
Article 38(1) of the 1992 Constitution says that the State shall provide educational facilities at all levels, and in all regions of Ghana, and shall to the greatest extent feasible, make those facilities available to all citizens.
He admitted there were challenges with implementing the Free Compulsory Basic Education programme (FCUBE), which sought to provide the opportunity for every school-age child in Ghana to receive quality basic education by the year 2005.
But Mr. Opoku Prempeh indicated that, the target of progressively free tertiary education, as promised by the defeated National Democratic Congress, “was not time-bound like progressively free secondary education in our constitution.”
Thus he said his priority would be to make sure that, “the KGs, the primaries, the JHSs and the SHSs, including vocational and technical education and agriculture, is well consolidated especially now that the UN’s right to basic education is being changed to a right of education up to the secondary level.”
“We have to guarantee that the masses of our people will be of sufficient knowledge and value skill acquisition, and technical ability before we probably, if the country can afford it, move towards those directions,” he added.