NANA OYEEMAN Wereko Ampem Darko II, chief of Amanokrom and Gyaasehene of the Akuapem traditional area, has suggested the need to revisit the educational structure in the country so as to raise the standard of education.
According to him, the education sector has fallen such that there is a vast difference between students from the urban and the rural areas, as those in the rural lack logistics, like books, while others also walk from long distances to school.
Nana noted that because of the lopsided nature of the education structure students in the urban areas generally perform better than those in the rural areas.
"Gone were the days when pupils from the rural areas such as Nsawam, Suhum, and so on, could get admission into better schools, such as Achimota, and have a very high percentage of university admission." he asserted.
He was speaking as the chairman of the 175th celebration and exhibition of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana recently on the theme '175 years of vocational and technical training successes, challenges and the way forward.'
Nana said this trend has changed dramatically to the extent that pupils from the rural areas no longer get admission to better schools in the cities, adding "moreover the rural pupils admission into the universities have dwindled dramatically."
The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, Rt Rev. Dr. Sam Prempreh, in his brief speech, noted that the church has experienced a great struggle and challenges in the past.
According to him, the church's impact has been made on the developmental growth of the nation in terms of education, vocational training, agriculture and health for the generation to benefit.
He said government alone can not provide developmental facilities to the people and that everyone need to put his hand on deck to help the government so that the nation could move forward.
The major concern of the church is the vocational training for students who could not continue their education, the Moderator said, and called on all the stakeholders to help to bring up the standard of education in the country.
The Minister for Manpower Development and Employment, Mr. Yaw Barima, said because of the church the government is assured of a reliable partner in the area of vocational and technical education, which is a key area of manpower training.
He noted manpower training has become a major concern for the government, and that is why it is highlighted in the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy document.
According to him, government has recognized the qualitative development of the nation, which lies in the capacity of its human resource.
He said government is aware of the challenges facing vocational and technical training in the country.
The minister said the ministry's annual educational sector operational plan for 2003 to 2005 has projected a total recurrent and capital expenditure of 64.6 billion, 48.6 billion and 53.3 billion respectively.
However, he pointed out that the major policy of the operational plan is to ensure relevant education and training for employability and allow for diversification of the technical and vocational curriculum.