According to the organisation, the government has over the years concentrated much on donor support for the funding of the sector, a development which it says is not advisable.
The Programme Officer of Send-Ghana, Mrs Harriet Agyemang, made the call at a stakeholders discussion on the annual budgets and expenditure of the country’s education sector in Accra.
The forum, which was organised by SEND-Ghana in collaboration with the African Centre for Energy and Policy (ACEP), with funding from EDIF-Ghana, brought together officials from the Ministry of Education (MoE), the Ministry of Finance (MoF) and the Ghana Education Service (GES) to discuss how to strengthen the country’s educational sector.
Mrs Agyemang observed that donor funding was going down, hence, the need for the government to explore other areas locally to mobilise resources to develop the sector.
Mrs Agyemang revealed that budget allocation increased from GH¢1.7 billion in 2010 to GH¢5.8 billion in 2014, while in 2015, GH¢6.7 billion, representing 21 per cent of the national budget, was allocated to the education sector.
She said the 2015 budget showed that 73 per cent of the overall sector budget was earmarked for wages and salaries, and that no funds had been spent on assets. She indicated that notwithstanding the increase in financial allocations, the sector was consistently constrained in the implementation of policies and strategies due to limited investments.
She said budget planning and execution were sometimes inconsistent, along with weak monitoring systems that did not provide timely information on the impact of expenditure.
Mrs Agyemang said it was essential for the government to increase its financial commitments to assets, goods and services to address the infrastructural deficits which hindered access to education.
“We urge government to fulfil conditions associated with grants before and during implementation to avert stalling educational projects,” she said.
She also said the government should improve on the content of the budget statement by providing sufficient details in the presentation of information.
Mrs Agyemang, therefore, appealed to the government to make adequate budgetary allocation for the education sector in the 2016 budget.
The Head of Policy Unit of the Africa Centre for Energy Policy, Mr Ishmael Ackah, stated that the revenue generated from viable sectors (such as the oil sector) could not cater for all the shortfalls in the educational sector.