Members of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Education have interacted with some citizens in the Tamale and Sagnarigu Assemblies to learn about their concerns on issues of education to help in addressing them.
Issues discussed centered on Free Senior High School (SHS) and the double track system, School Feeding Programme (SFP), disability and inclusive education, girl-child education and the new basic education curriculum.
Youth groups, persons living with disabilities, women groups, representatives of civil society organisations, and the media amongst others participated in the event held in Tamale on Wednesday.
It formed part of the Dialogues for Change Project, whose goal is to have responsive citizen representation that meets the needs and aspirations of all especially the excluded and vulnerable.
The two and a half year project is being implemented in the Northern and Eastern Regions by the African Centre for Parliamentary Affairs in partnership with NORSAAC and Socioserve-Ghana with funding from STAR-Ghana.
Concerns raised by the citizens during the event included the need for broader consultation especially the involvement of the youth in decision-making on education, extension of the SFP to model girls' schools to encourage enrolment, as well as ensuring that food served under the SFP should be nutritious.
Other concerns raised were the need to construct libraries in the districts to help pupils and students in their academic activities, and more attention be given to lower level education sector to ensure quality.
Members of the disability groups expressed disappointment that teaching of sign language was not captured in the new basic school curriculum, saying if it was captured, it would help the hearing-impaired to communicate well with the rest of the population.
Mr William Agyapong Quaittoo, Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Education, who responded to issues raised by the citizens during the event, said the various programmes and reforms in the education sector were to ensure access to and promote quality education in the country.
Mr Agyapong Quaittoo assured members of the disability groups that the government would provide assistive devices for the blind as part of the Free SHS to enhance their academic activities.
He also assured that the Committee would recommend to the Ministry of Education the need to include the teaching of sign language in the new basic school curriculum because without it the hearing-impaired would miss out on quality and inclusive education.
Mr Alhassan Mohammed Awal, Executive Director of NORSAAC, said similar Parliamentary engagement with citizens would be held in other districts in the Northern and Eastern Regions to unearth inputs from the citizenry to help improve the implementation of education and health policies in the country.