Professor Jophus Anamuah-Mensah, former Vice Chancellor of the University of Education Winneba, said although Ghana is at the threshold of achieving the Millennium Development Goal on Education, the 2015 target is only achievable if the sector is given the highest priority.
“The country requires a catalytic approach in pursuing outstanding deficits in attaining Universal Primary Enrolment Retention, Completion, Quality and Gender Parity,” Prof. Anamuah-Mensah noted this in his foreword on the Civil Society Education Manifesto 2012.
He said the Civil Society recognizes that Ghana has progressively advanced towards meeting the education targets set out in the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals and Education for All goals launched in Dakar 2000.
He cited what he described as the significant successes chalked in increasing access to primary education, which he said has made Ghana one of the few African Countries in a position to meet the education target.
He said the upcoming general elections in December 2012 present an opportunity for constructive debates on the direction of development policies and initiatives, including education in Ghana.
“We (Civil Society) take a proactive role by putting forward this manifesto as a framework that should guide the actions of civil society and those of the next political administration in Ghana for the period 7 January 2013- 6 January 2016.
“The plurality of political opinions on development policies is expected to engage the attention of political parties during the election debates. What has been conspicuously lacking in previous political debates is the civil society dimension to development policies, especially in education.
“The Civil Society Education Manifesto 2012 is a presentation of the view point of the ordinary citizens about how education should be delivered in the next four years to ensure Ghana achieves the MDG targets (and beyond) in education.”
Apart from the necessity of reaching MDG education target, Prof. Anamuah-Mensah said civil society believes that an investment and commitment to education provides the cornerstone of any society that values its citizen's participation in development as well as the centrality of human resource to national development.
“The manifesto is meant to stimulate, engage and empower students, teachers, educators, community members and leaders, civil society organizations and political parties to take a fresh look at the most pressing education policy issues that have received very little attention in the past decade, and take the necessary action.”