CSOs Coalition urges Government to engage youth in education policy-making processes

Accra An umbrella body of CSOs Coalition for Youth Development has urged government to involve the youth in education policy- making processes.

Mrs Theodora W. Anti, the Convenor of the CSOs Coalition for Youth Development, said that the youth formed majority of the population, as such it was appropriate for government to take deliberate efforts to engage them right from policy formulation, to implementation, to monitoring.

She noted that communities that had better relationship with their schools were doing better, saying, the youth are part of the communities, so we can get a youth group to take care of absenteeism, make sure teachers are coming to school, they will do it gladly.

Ms Anti said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Accra, on the sidelines of the 2019 National Youth Dialogue on Transformative Education.

The coalition, made up of the Foundation for Security and Development in Africa (FOSDA), Plan International Ghana and Youth SDG Platform; held the forum on the theme: Achieving Transformative Education: Youth Voices, Perspectives and Aspirations.

Policy making in the education sector is usually a top-bottom affair with very little engagement with community members and ordinary citizens.

Over the years, young people have been discriminated against, especially when it came to policy discourse; the best description for young people in the eyes of public authorities was that; young people were active consumers of public policies and not active participants of what they consumed.

Among the objectives of the dialogue was to sensitize youth leaders on Education policies; engage policy makers and present youth position on Transforming education including Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in Ghana; and provide suggestions as alternative approach to Ghana education policy reforms.

Ms Anti also underscored the need for government to invest more in TVET, stating that discussing transformational education, TVET highlights the notion that individuals who have finished basic education could use the knowledge acquired either as employable or be able to employ.

She told GNA that this should also help people to be able to solve societal problems, hence, Ghana’s education systems should be able to bring people up to have critical skills, and this should not be limited to a particular group of people, but spread across.

Ms Anti said they knew TVET was being added to the free senior high school programme, on the other hand they also knew that it was free only for tuition, but teaching and learning materials were taken up by the students.

The Convenor told GNA that after the forum, participants would develop a communique which would be circulated to the various stakeholders on exactly what step they think they could take to achieve transformational education.

Ms Veronica Dzeagu, National Coordinator, Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition (GNECC), reiterated the need to provide equitable and inclusive education that meets the diverse needs of the youth.

There is a need to build linkages with other programmes government has introduced for the youth in various sectors, we have to link these programmes properly with what is happening in the education sector because this sector trains the human capacity to fit into these other sectors, she added.

Ms Dzeagu was of the view such close collaborations would help to produce the kind of skilled-youth needed to go into other sectors to work; and so the Coalition called for a close collaboration between the ministry of education and all the other sectors involved in youth development.

Mr Samuel Thompson, Policy and Planning Coordinator at the Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET), said some of the technical universities had been equipped with state-of-art equipment.

He said this development which was making TVET useful, even increasing enrollment, and also enhancing the quality that was delivered.

Mr Thompson told GNA that with the use of competency-based training in most of the institutions, whatever was delivered is targeted at achieving skilled objectives that were very relevant to this modern era.

Source: Ghana News Agency