Tuesday, September 20, 2005

FCUBE, not Ice Cube

Yesterday morning, as I went for my habitual constitutional with my pet dog Fenix, I saw – as I often do – this young girl of around nine years. She was wearing clothes more reminiscent of cold weather than this usually warm climate.


It was not an illusion; the weather truly was cool that time of morning, and those not used to around fifteen-eighteen degrees at that time of day would happily misconstrue the weather as ice-cube “cold”, so that they could get to wear very warm cotton jackets.


Today, I thought, it was time to muster up the courage to ask her a question—so I did.


“How are you?” I asked in twi


“O ye”, or “it’s fine/I’m fine”, she responded with a smile.


Then I stopped. “Na, owo, inko school?” (aren’t you going to go to school?) I asked with an air of seriousness.


She almost curtsied, smiling a weak smile.


“Don’t you know that education is now free?”


She nodded in the affirmative; I couldn’t believe that she did. I don’t think she’s been reading a newspaper lately!


SO, standing my ground for the attention she had given me, I went in for the kill.


“Education is now free. SO, tell your relative, or your parents, or those who look after you. Ok?”


She nodded, and curtsied yet again.


Evidently, a sign of a person with potentially good manners.


But, I felt sad, at the fact that the so-called FCUBE, or Free Compulsory Basic Education had been launched a few weeks ago here in Accra by the Minister of Education Osaafo-Maafo, yet here was an example of those who knew NOTHING about this.


But if it is a crusade I have to embark on, as was the case with CITI-FM, then I will do so. To the degree that each time she sees me, she will JUST want to go home and tell her relatives about FCUBE so that I don’t bother her again!:-)



The Government of Ghana's Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education (FCUBE) Program

In response to these and other concerns about educational quality, the government launched, in 1996, its Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education (FCUBE) program, a package of reforms designed specifically to focus on basic education access and quality. FCUBE has three primary components:

  • Improving the Quality of Teaching and Learning: Activities focus on enhancing specific teaching skills through pre-service and in-service teacher training; improving teacher motivation through incentive programs; promoting quality of student learning and performance through curriculum reviews and improved teacher-student interaction; provision of adequate and timely learning materials to all schools; improvement of teacher-community relationships.
  • Improving Efficiency in Management: Activities focus on the re-organization and re-orientation of management practices in the education delivery system. Specifically, this component strives to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of management performance in the education sector. Activities address management reforms; discipline and accountability in schools; increased enforcement of effective teaching and learning; elimination of teacher absenteeism, lateness and misuse of instructional time; and building the morale of pre-tertiary personnel.
  • Increasing Access and Participation: Activities are designed to ensure that there is total access and retention of all school-age children in the nine-year basic education program, and that all stakeholders participate fully in educational services/programs within their localities. Activities involve expanding infrastructural facilities and services to enhance access; addressing issues of enrolment and retention for all school-age children; enhancing quality in the provision of educational services and facilities; ensuring good quality teaching through the setting of performance targets; encouraging all stakeholders to participate fully in educational services/programs.

To achieve these objectives, the Government of Ghana enlisted the assistance of a broad range of stakeholders. Local partners include District Education Oversight Committees (DEOCs), School Management Committees and Parent Teacher Associations, parents, teachers and other interested citizens. International partners include DFID, USAID, ADB, IDA, JICA, UNICEF and GTZ.

From: http://www2.edc.org/CSA/ed.htm







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