SPEECH OF FORMER ADMINISTRATOR OF GETFUND @ KUMASI SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL

Mr. Chairman, The Honourable Minister of Education,  Headmaster, Teaching and Non-Teaching Staff, Mmerantee, P.T.A., Invited Guests, Nananom, Ladies and Gentlemen.
Education for all is a right each child is entitled to as stated in Principle 7 of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child … Whoever cannot afford to live in the future is bound to postpone the present and miss the opportunity of living in her/his own time.
Mr. Chairman, education is not only a human right. It is and above all the foundation of all the aspects of development in the respect that it contributes to reducing poverty, spurring the economy, promoting health, protecting the environment, acquiring new technologies and scientific knowledge, promoting democratic culture and good governance.
Education must equip present and future generations to tackle the challenges facing the twenty-first century, such as the struggle against poverty and illiteracy, the erosion of identity and values, exclusion, discrimination, violation of human rights, the contamination of our environment, the depletion of natural resources, unbridled consumerism, the digital divide, as well as conflicts, tensions, insecurity and unprecedented accelerated change at all levels and in all forms.
Nananom, most emphasis is being put on accessibility, but what about the billions of children and young people already enrolled in school? Is their education relevant and participatory so that they can deal effectively with present and future needs and priorities? Are they acquiring the necessary knowledge base, life skills and competencies, values, attitudes and behaviour to finally ‘learn to live together’ in peace and non-violence at the outset of this third millennium?
That is in asking whether quality education is being offered. Although opinions about quality in education are by no means unified, they can be summarized as the need for more relevance, for greater equity of access and outcome and for proper observance of individual rights. In much current international thinking, these principles guide and inform educational content and processes and represent more general social goals to which education itself should contribute.
Ladies and gentlemen, the education of the child should be directed to:
•    The development of the child’s personality, talents and mental and physical abilities to their fullest potential;
•    The development of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and for the principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations;
•    The development of respect for the child’s parents, his or her own cultural identity, language and values, for the national values of the country.
•    The preparation of the child for responsible life in a free society, in the spirit of understanding, peace, tolerance, equality of sexes, and friendship among all peoples, ethnic, national and religious groups and persons of indigenous origin;
•    The development of respect for the natural environment.
 

Mr. Chairman, other things being equal, the success of teaching and learning is likely to be strongly influenced by the resources made available to support the process and the direct ways in which these resources are managed. It is obvious that schools without teachers, textbooks or learning materials will not be able to do an effective job. In that sense, resources are important for education quality. 
Inputs are enabling in that they underpin and are intrinsically interrelated to teaching and learning processes, which in turn affects the range and the type of inputs used and how effectively they are employed. The main input variables are material and human resources, with the governance of these resources as an important additional dimension.
Material resources, needed to be provided both by the government and all stakeholders, include textbooks and other learning materials and the availability of classrooms, libraries, buses, school facilities and other infrastructure.
Human resource inputs include administrators, supervisors, inspectors and, most importantly, the teaching and non-teaching staff. Teachers are vital to the education process. They are both affected by the macro context in which it takes place and central to its successful outcomes. Examples of potentially important
factors having an indirect impact on teaching and learning are strong leadership, a safe and welcoming school environment, good community involvement and incentives for achieving good results.
Ladies and gentlemen, while it has been said, "A good teacher can teach anywhere," a growing body of research literature also strongly suggests a direct relation between the condition and utility of the school facility and learning. The classroom is the most important area within a school. It is here that students spend most of their time, hopefully in an environment conducive to learning. Learning in the classroom requires a reasonable level of concentration, listening, writing, and reading. Individual classrooms and entire facilities need to be evaluated, not only on how they meet changing educational requirements, but also on how they meet the environmental requirements for health, safety, and security.
Quality education determines the quality of the future of the world’s peoples. We cannot enter the future without quality education, without renovating our educational system. Education should be in accordance with the demands of the global society facing us. Academic knowledge should be strengthened with  the teaching of human, civic and ethical values.
There is thus an urgent need to focus on providing quality education for all in order to enable tomorrow’s decision-makers to have a healthy, peaceful and bright future. Young people today are very conscious of their needs and the world around them at both local and global levels. Students are aware and concerned about inequalities, disparities, tensions and conflicts, and demand remedial action. They understand the vital importance of education and how it impacts on their present and future lives, careers, livelihood and overall well-being, and how it affects their relations with others.
The quality education that we have in mind for all of our children should be provided while paying particular attention to the means by which it is provided (improving the status of teachers; constructing and equipping school infrastructures; providing teaching materials; teacher training). Educational inputs, processes, outputs, and outcomes remain critical, however, the balance among them needs to be carefully considered.
Promoting quality education and training for all young people is essential to securing a better future and constitutes an essential mechanism for combating social exclusion at the local, national and global levels. As both a basic right and a public good, this education must respond to the needs and interests of all young people with a view to ensuring the realization of their full potential, their successful integration in the world of work, as well as their capacity to participate in active life and as responsible citizens.
Quality education for all is our biggest challenge and our greatest hope.