More than 108,000 children out of school in Central Region

An estimated 108,835 children are out of school as at 2010, statistics by the Central Regional Education Directorate showed.

According to the Head of the Planning and Statistics Unit of the Regional Education Office, Mr. John Hayford, 32,352 of the children should have been at the KG level, 14,789 at the primary whiles 61,694 at the Junior High School (JHS).

The startling revelation was made at the opening of the Fifth Central Regional Education Sector Annual Review Forum in Cape Coast for Directors of Education, Heads of Schools as well as Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) in the Region where he gave the basic school population as 729,095.

Some of the issues to be discussed at the two-day Forum aimed at reviewing the status of education at district and regional level  by major stakeholders include quality of education and its access, science and technology, ICT as well as education management and financing.

He said as at 2010/11 there were 91 Senior High Schools (SHS), with 87,008 students, 1,597 JHS with 149,031 students, 2,247 Primary Schools with 421,046 students and 2,225 KGs with 159,018 students.

Mr Hayford said the gradual increase in enrolment did not correspond with the numbers of teachers needed as they keep declining.

Giving a breakdown of the teacher population in the region, Mr. Hayford said 4,906 KG teachers in 2009/10 had declined by six percent compared to this year’s figure of 4,612, while at primary level the 14,284 teachers went down by seven percent, with the JHS level decreasing by 14% this year.

He said teachers of the Non-Formal Education Division also declined by 62% with only the SHS enjoying four percent increase of intake of teachers and called for the training of more teachers, particularly in English, Mathematics and Science to fill vacancies at all levels.

The Regional Director of Education, Mr. Kofi Sarfo Kantanka who opened the two-day Forum, expressed worry that despite the investment of 6.1 percent of the nation’s GDP into education by government many school going children both at the basic and SHS levels are out of school.

He said there was a high rate of truancy among the youth in the region with its attendant high number of drop-outs who are attracted by the “fast money” syndrome at the beaches and tourist sites and called for strategies to stop the situation.

Source: GNA

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