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About 56 per cent of Ghana’s human capital will go waste in the next 18 years because of the poor quality of the country’s education system, the latest Human Capital Index (HCI) report by the World Bank has revealed.
The report made a stunning revelation that only 44 per cent of children born in the country today will become productive when they grow up.
The HCI, which measures the amount of capital that a child born in the country today can expect to attain by age 18, stated that the poor quality of education would translate into lack of capacity to support sustainable national development.
The report, which was made public by the World Bank Ghana Office in Accra yesterday, ranked Ghana 116th out of 157 countries.
The Minister of Education, Dr Mathew Opoku-Prempeh, a Deputy Minister of education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, and the National Coordinator of the Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition (GNECC), Ms Veronica Dzeagu, attended the event.
Also present at the event were directors and heads of units and divisions of the Ghana Education Service (GES) national headquarters, regional directors of education, civil society organisations (CSOs) in education, as well as other stakeholders in education.
Highlights of report
Presenting the HCI report, the World Bank Head Lead, Dr Antonio Guiffrida, revealed that the harmonised test scores of students in Ghana were 307 on a scale where 625 represented advanced attainment and 300 represented minimum attainment.
He attributed the poor showing of the country on the HCI test scores to poor quality of education and inadequate investment in the sector.
“The reality is that the education in Ghana is not of good quality, some children do not go to school at all, others go to school but do not complete, while others are malnourished and cannot fully attain their potential,” he stressed.
Throwing more light on the HCI report, Dr Guiffrida said 95 out of 100 children in the country survived up to age five while a child who started school at age four was expected to complete 11.6 years of school by their 18th birthday.
It noted further that across Ghana, 76 per cent of 15-year olds would survive until age 60.
He disclosed that the HCI showed that 19 out of every 100 children were stunted and so were at risk of cognitive and physical limitations that could last a lifetime.
He stressed that the way forward to improving education and the country HCL ranking was to invest in quality education.
Dr Guiffrida observed that although Ghana had enormous natural resource potential, the country had not been able to sustainably develop because of the weak capacity of her human resource.
He added that the only way to reverse the trend was for the country to invest in its human resource to imbibe the right innovation and technology that would help make the best use of natural resources.
In a presentation dubbed “Facing forward: schooling for learning in Africa”, the World Bank Director, Dr Luis Benveniste, noted that although Ghana had made some modest gains in keeping children in school, some children were still out of school.
He called for adequate measures to be taken to check the dropout rate of schoolchildren.
Dr Benveniste also noted that teacher absenteeism had been identified as a major challenge to educational outcomes.
“It is sad to know that about half of the children who are in school are not being taught because of teacher absenteeism and idleness on the part of teachers during productive hours,” he said.
He observed that the way forward was for improved supervision of teachers, effective monitoring and evaluation of teachers’ performance and adequate financing of basic education.