The National Democratic Congress (NDC) on Wednesday demonstrated its commitment to education through the expansion of education infrastructure, creation of the GETFUND, a vigorous drive to correct the gender imbalance between male and female enrolment at all levels during the NDC administration.
Mr. Vincent Sena Kuagbenu, a Research Officer of the party recounted the achievement of the NDC government in the past which included reformed structure and conduct of the educational system, increased enrolment from basic to tertiary levels, establishment of University of Development Studies in the North and introducing the Distance Learning, which enabled teachers to upgrade their skills.
He said based on this foundation, the next NDC government would improve Teacher Training facilities and set standards for private participation in education.
Mr. Kuagbenu stated at a Political Parties Educational Debate on the theme; "Education in Ghana; the Way Forward" organised by the Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition in Accra.
Four out of the seven political parties contesting the December Presidential polls participated in the debate to spell out their educational policy as articulated in their Election 2008 manifestos.
They are NDC; New Patriotic Party (NPP); Peoples National Convention (PNC) and the Convention Peoples Party (CPP).
Mr Kuagbenu said the NDC acknowledged that part of the educational system stemmed from the numerous reforms making the sector unpredictable and dysfunctional.
He said the NDC government would convene an All-Party Conference on Education Reforms; "We shall all together, at the political level, review the various technical options available and strive to reach a consensus.
"We shall all then sign an Educational Pact, committing all the political parties to an educational reform package for the next 25 years."
The NDC Government would provide a coordinated mechanism to enable pre-school education to become a component of the FCUBE programme as a cure for the present chaotic situation.
The NDC will extend the free aspect of the FCUBE into areas such as doing away with fees for sports and cultural activities as well as the provision of school uniforms for children in public schools in deprived communities.
On Second Cycle education, the NDC seeks to revert the deficiencies and weaknesses in a bold and comprehensive manner, revert the current Senior High School (SHS) duration of four years to three years; ensure that each constituency has a minimum of one SHS and revamp the science resources centres in selected SHS throughout the country by training science teachers to man the centres, provide funds for the running of the centres.
On Technical and Vocational education, the NDC seeks to modernise and expand Technical Schools and provide for alternative well-developed streams of technical education.
The next NDC government would improve the general conditions of teachers through the payment of competitive salaries, provision of decent accommodation and enhanced retirement benefits, pay certificated teachers a professional allowance, pay hardship allowance to teachers in identified deprived areas and give incremental credits to specialist teachers in science and mathematics at the point of entry.
He said a Professor John Evans Atta Mills led government would provide access and support to teachers for training and professional development.
On the tertiary levels, the NDC seeks to establish at least two public Universities to increase access to tertiary education- a University of Health and Allied Sciences at Ho, with a campus at Hohoe and a University of Energy and Natural Resources at Sunyani.
"There would be no cost-recovery at the tertiary levels of education, government would absorb the greater percentage of the cost of tertiary education, including all tuitions cost.
"The government would also institute scholarships and bursaries for high performing but needy students. The student loans scheme would be reviewed to meet the needs of students."
The NDC education policy also focuses on University for Development Studies; the School Feeding Programme; the Capitation Grant; GETFUND and ICT Education.