Action Aid Ghana, an advocacy Non- Governmental Organization (NGO), has called on the government to make education more equitable and inclusive for all young people, to accelerate the effort to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
It said quality education was transformative and key to unlocking the potentials of all young citizens, hence the need to invest strategically through sustainable financing to make it accessible and gender responsive.
The NGO made the call at a ceremony in Bolgatanga held to commemorate the 2019 International Youth Day which brought together stakeholders from public and private sectors as well as youth groups.
It was organized under the theme: "Transforming education: promoting gender-responsive public education".
The International Youth Day, established by the United Nations in 2000, seeks to recognize the role of young people as essential partners in change and further serve as an opportunity to raise awareness on the challenges confronting their development.
Mr Akuka Yakubu, the Programme Officer, Action Aid Ghana, said the youth are agents of societal change in a world driven by technological innovation and so the educational system of the country would be more beneficial if it was made free from the basic level to the tertiary level.
"We must challenge the privatization of education; demand enhanced living wages and decent work for our teachers and lecturers; and plan the school curricula to ensure it shapes young minds for social justice rather than free market fundamentalism".
He urged government to adopt pragmatic measures including fair and progressive tax systems, tackling illicit financial flows and reducing public debts among others, to sustainably mobilize resources to fund quality and inclusive public education.
Action Aid Ghana, over the years has worked to promote quality education especially in rural communities by providing girl-friendly school infrastructure, furniture, teaching and learning materials and capacity building programmes for some stakeholders in education, he added.
Ms Priscilla Nyaaba, the Executive Director of Youth Harvest Foundation, who chaired the function, called for restructuring of the tertiary educational system to focus more on technical and vocational training so as to make graduates more responsive to current demands of the industry.
The Young Urban Women Movement (YUWM) and other youth groups being supported by Action Aid Ghana, called on stakeholders to address the issue of unpaid care work to enable girls have enough time to focus on their education.
In a speech read on her behalf by Ms Yvonne Wochua, Assistant Director of Administration at the Regional Coordinating Council, Madam Tangoba Abayage, the Upper East Regional Minister, said a gender responsive system was an effective weapon in tackling discrimination and attaining the SDGs, particularly goals four and five.
The Regional Minister advised the youth to eschew social vices such as "extremism and terrorism and work towards developing themselves and the country.
The event was characterized by route march by the youth on the principal streets of Bolgatanga.