More than 80 per cent of Ghanaians say they are satisfied with the manner the Akufo-Addo government is handling the country’s education system, according to an Afrobarometer report on the “Democratic dividend: The road to quality education in Africa”.
It said across the 34 African countries surveyed by Afrobarometer between late 2016 and late 2018, one in five respondents (21%) cited education as one of the most important problems their governments should address, placing it among citizens’ top five priorities.
According to the report, “On the average across the 34 countries, a slim majority (54%) of respondents said their governments were performing ‘fairly well’ or ‘very well’ in addressing educational needs, though more than four out of 10 (43%) described their performance as fairly/very bad”.
The report noted that: “Countries vary drastically in their assessments”.
For instance, it noted, “More than eight out of 10 citizens in eSwatini (81%) and Ghana (80%) approved of how the government handles education, but fewer than two in 10 agreed in Morocco (18%) and Gabon (15%)”, adding: “Of the 12 countries where half of respondents or less gave the government good marks, 10 are in West or North Africa”.
In some cases, the report said government performance ratings seem to match up with citizens’ educational attainment: In Niger, Guinea, and Senegal, where large shares of the population lack formal education, fewer than half of citizens approved of the government’s efforts on education.
But in Gabon, where only one in 100 citizens lack formal education, the government got the worst grade of all surveyed countries (15% approval), while in Burkina Faso, where 64% have never been to school, 62% approved of the government’s performance on education.
While more than half of Africans saw their government as doing well in addressing educational needs, only four out of 10 (41%) saw improvement, compared to “a few years ago,” in the government’s effectiveness on the issue.
More than half thought that little had changed (27%) or that things had actually gotten worse (29%).
“Often, citizens’ assessments of government performance and progress on education go hand in hand. Ghana, Kenya, Sierra Leone, and Tanzania rank in the top five both in citizen approval of government performance and in perceived improvement in effectiveness on education.”