The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has called on Ghanaians to take up the challenge of ensuring they achieve the desired transformation in their communities and not blame political leaders for their development challenges. It said despite the many projects and development interventions in the country there was no significant impact on society ‘because most times we think that it is somebody’s responsibility to do it.’ Mr Paul Napari, the Agreement Officer’s Representative (AOR) of the USAID/Ghana Strengthening Accountability in Ghana’s Education System (SAGES) Activity, made the call in Wa during the regional launch of the USAID’s SAGES Activity. It seeks to increase the performance of education system actors and the effectiveness of their interactions with each other in support of education accountability to improve learning outcomes in 17 districts in northern Ghana. The five-year $60 million USAID-funded Activity also seeks to improve primary education in Ghana through institutionalising accountability. ‘Stop blaming the president, stop blaming the ministers, I am not saying they are angels…But if we don’t rise to the occasion, it won’t change anything,’ Mr Napari said. He said political leaders could not achieve much without the support of the citizenry and that the disparities in the performance between the private and the public schools were due to the level of commitment of the managers. Mr Napari explained that the US Government was committed to supporting Ghana’s education sector because it believed education could drive individual and national development, but that could be achieved through a high-performing and accountable educational system. The USAID’s SAGES activity supported the Education Accountability Framework developed through the World Bank-funded Ghana Accountability for Learning Outcomes Project by equipping students, teachers, parents, and administrators with the tools to excel. ‘It will also empower communities to demand quality education from schools and at all levels of the education system,’ he added. Madam Rose Tchwenko, the Country Director of CARE International, said the Government had made significant investments to improve access to quality education. The SAGES Activity would, therefore, build on the existing educational frameworks and leverage the successes to create the expected impact. ‘We take this as a kind of sacred mission because the education of children is so important to the future of any nation, especially Ghana,’ she said. Mr Salifu Issifu Kanton, the Executive Director of the Community Development Alliance (CDA) Ghana, said the launch of the SAGES Activity was a great landmark in Ghana’s education history and that stakeholders in the region had a stake in driving the Activity to achieve the expected results. Nana Baffour Awuah, the Director of Pre-Tertiary at the Ministry of Education, said the Activity would hold education managers accountable. It would ensure that every child had access to quality education and every teacher had access to the resources and support they needed to excel, he said. Kuoro Osman Deiwia, the Paramount Chief of the Pulima Traditional Area in the Sissala West District, recommended the use of technology to monitor the output of teachers to improve productivity. Dr Hafiz Bin Salih, the Upper West Regional Minister, in a speech read for him, said education was the cornerstone for the development and progress of every society and accountability played a role in achieving that. He assured the SAGES Activity implementers of the Regional Coordinating Council’s support in ensuring success for the improvement of education in the region. The programme would be implemented in 17 districts in the Upper West, Northern, Upper East, and North-East regions and is expected to benefit 1,255 schools and communities and 508,269 pupils. Care International would implement the project in the Upper West Region in partnership with the CDA Ghana.
Source: Ghana News Agency