Education could soon be compulsory from the basic to tertiary level if government is able to pass the necessary legislation to back it, the president has said.
Nana Akufo-Addo who made the commitment at a meeting with the Ghanaian community in China is convinced education equips one with the necessary tool to compete in the global space.
“My hope is that soon parliament and myself will be in agreement and we should even bring legislation that will make it compulsory for every child to go to school from Kindergarten to university level,” he said.
According to him, the matter is now open for a public discourse and nothing has been concretised but in due course, he is hopeful a law would be passed to that effect.
The President said once the law is passed when children are seen anywhere else when provisions have been made for them to be in school, an action can be taken against their parents.
The president also disclosed on a state visit to China that despite anticipated challenges with the yet to be rolled double track system at the secondary level, the initiative offers the best solution to the problem.
According to him, the number of those expected to enter the Senior High School this month has doubled to 180,000 and the system is being run without expansion to any of the infrastructure to accommodate the huge numbers.
“So, we are having to find creative ways of being able to accommodate this expanding population, but at the same time make sure that minimum quality of standards was observed,” he said.
He believes the initiative is going to generate a “much more productive educational system than what we have had up until now.”
However, a Ranking Member on Education, Peter Nortse said the president must hasten slowly so the country does not bite more than it can chew.
According to him, although it is the responsibility of the state to provide education at all levels, the economy cannot support that.
Mr Nortse argues that the Constitution talks about the provision of a progressively free education but “the question is have we been able to make it compulsory?”
The Akatsi North MP said due to logistical constraints the country has been unable to do so citing challenges with the recently implemented Free SHS policy.
“We have not finished addressing the challenges at the secondary school level and we are talking about adding the university to it? That will only compound our problems.
“There is no need to pass any legislation now. When we are able to fulfil what is in the constitution then the way forward will be there for us,” he added.
The National Democratic Congress legislator said government should concentrate on the basic and SHS levels while parents contribute to educating their wards at the tertiary level.