Former President John Dramani Mahama has noted that the Ghana Education Trust (GET) Fund, has recently had serious financial difficulties.
He predicted that stakeholders will cooperate in the future to make the GETFund work for students and institutions at both private and public schools, who required financial assistance.
These were mentioned in a speech made by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) flagbearer at Academic City University College.
He told the graduating students that “Globally, economists and governance experts have long acknowledged that development does not start with goods; it starts with human capital development. Hence, without education, or quality education, our natural resources – land, sea, minerals, forests etc. – will lie dormant and unexploited. Even if exploited, the environmental and socio-economic implications will be dire for our nation’s progress.”
He asserted that Ghana’s education must be of the highest caliber in order for it to fulfill its mission of producing resourceful and talented human resources who can meet society’s needs. The concentration on increasing access to education without corresponding improvements in quality, he asserted, makes education insufficient for producing the skilled labor force that society requires.
Additionally, the former President argued that because education also levels the playing field, a lackluster education tends to deepen the gap between the rich and the poor in a nation.
He further said that the Social Democratic tradition of his party, the NDC, has prioritized investment in education throughout the years, in order to ensure quality education at all levels and address inequities. He asserted that the establishment of the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) as a financial complement to the conventional means of funding education was driven by the NDC’s quality-indexed mentality.
“Regrettably, GETFund has suffered severe financial setbacks in recent times. In the future, we can work together to make the GETFund work for students and institutions needing financial assistance in private and public schools. Let’s also remember that the 21st Century thrives on the digital revolution in which innovation and originality propel progress. To succeed in this era, our educational system must evolve to equip the next generation with critical thinking skills, creativity, and innovation to solve problems.
“This is why the National Democratic Congress, in our quest to build the Ghana we want, is seeking to partner with the private sector to invest three billion dollars (US$3 billion) in an integrated ICT infrastructure, including onshore and offshore fibre super-highway and electronic applications. The investment will leverage 5G technology to propel communication, commerce, civil liberties, and individual expressions; while supporting other national priorities in health, education, agriculture, petroleum, and the power sectors.”John Dramani Mahama
According to the NDC Flagbearer, this initiative will also improve service delivery to Ghanaians, modernize industry and dated legacy platforms and IT systems, enhance network security, and generate thousands of decent and long-lasting jobs throughout the value chain.
Unemployment At It’s Peak In Ghana’s History
According to John Dramani Mahama, the rate of unemployment in Ghana is currently the highest it has ever been.
As he stated, the current jobless rate is around 13%.
The flagbearer of the NDC said to the graduating students that “We left the university gates and walked into ready jobs waiting for us. There was automatic posting if you wanted to go into teaching. Many of us were retained and absorbed into workplaces, where we had been posted for National Service.”
“Our colleagues who made first class were quickly snapped up by prestigious banks and private corporations like UAC, Lever Brothers, now Unilever, and Standard Chartered Bank as management trainees. Fortunately, or unfortunately for you, the world is entirely different today. Climate change is creating forest fires in the northern hemisphere and pushing temperatures to historic highs. The coral reefs are dying; the polar ice is melting. Africa is facing either droughts or incessant flooding. The Sahara Dessert is drifting southward, threatening us with an ever-drier climate.
“Ukraine and Russia are at war. Sudan is in a civil war. There are many conflicts all over Africa. Terrorists have taken over the Sahel and are threatening to push down to the West African coast.”John Dramani Mahama
As per the former President, there are no jobs available for graduates right away, and it could take them years to obtain quality employment.
He claimed that there are instances of students who are still looking for work five years after graduating from college. “Unemployment in Ghana is at its highest in history today, estimated at 13%. Our economy is in crisis. The closure of indigenous banks and the banking sector cleanout have led to the loss of several jobs”, he continued.
“A Debt Exchange Programme has led to massive haircuts, eroding the capital of Ghanaian entrepreneurs, the income of middle-class families and pensioners’ savings. Our democracy is at risk with confidence and trust in leadership at its lowest ebb. But it is not all doom and gloom for you. You have laptops and tablets with more extensive storage and are faster than any computer in our time. You have numerous search engines that put the world of knowledge at your fingertips. But best of all, you are not stepping out of an Ivory Tower.
“Over the years, universities have adjusted their curricula to integrate them and make them more relevant to the societies in which they exist. One such institution is Academic City University College; an innovative Centre of learning that equips its students with practical knowledge that allows them to be instruments of societal transformation wherever they are employed.”John Dramani Mahama