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Scrap farming modules - IMANI recommends to National Service Secretariat

Franklin Cudjoe, Founding President and Chief Executive Officer of IMANIFranklin Cudjoe, Founding President and Chief Executive Officer of IMANI
A recent report by the Forum for Education Reform (FFER), under the auspices of IMANI-Ghana has recommended the dedication of the whole National Service Scheme to teaching.
The report captioned "The State of Education in Ghana" notes that more National Service hands in teaching would help address the poor student-teacher ratio which is "a major factor with regard to improving the quality of education" in the country, particularly at the basic school level.
The National Service Secretariat has put some of its service personnel into catering and farming modules.This initiative, according to the NSS is aimed at addressing issues of budgetary constraints and personnel placement.
The Scheme currently  has a piggery, a fish farm and poultry projects soread across the country. NSS also has a mango and coconut plantation at Papao in the Greater Accra Region.
NSS earlier this year donated assorted food items from its agricultural projects to the staff and inmates of the Pantang Hospital in Accra. The Scheme donated 100 bags of maize, 250 kilograms of chicken and 30 crates of eggs to help provide for the hospital's nutritional need
But FFER, which is group of eminent Ghanaians, educationists, leaders of industry, business people and researchers believes these initiatives hamper efforts at improving education at the basic school level.
Also, the Forum urged government to develop incentives to facilitate investment in private education and encourage the existing ones to expand.
Many private Senior High Schools (SHSs) in the country say they are being deprived from admitting  first-year students for the 2013/2014 academic year.
They blamed the situation on the Secretariat of the Computerised Schools Selection and Placement System (CSSPS) which placed all the candidates who wrote the 2013 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) in public SHSs.
But FFER notes in the report that "history shows that private schools have always been a feature of Ghana’s education landscape and their importance has been growing at every stage of education: primary, secondary and tertiary" - making a case for their participation in the delivery of education in the country.
The Forum further states that there is a strong link between education and development and urged that Ghana’s development discussion must critically consider moving the education system to the "highest rung".

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