About 470,000 Ghanaian children still out of school – UNICEF

Mr. Biikook Gideon Kpanchar-Konlan, Education Officer of the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), has said that about 470,000 children of school going age in Ghana were still out of school.

He, consequently, expressed worry that the country might not be able to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on education.

Mr. Kpanchar-Konlan said most of those children were found in the rural communities, mining areas, and the cities.

He said the situation had been aggravated to the extent that most communities lack classroom facilities while teachers were inadequate despite Government efforts.

Mr. Kpanchar-Konlan disclosed these at a workshop, organized by the School for Life (SFL), a subsidiary non-governmental organization (NGO)  of the Ghana Development Community Association (GDCA),  in Tamale on Thursday.

The workshop was on the theme: “Implementation of complementary basic education,  the role of replicators of the SfL model” and aimed at replicating the activities of the NGO in other parts of the country to draw more children out of school to be functional literate.

Mr. Kpanchar-Konlan said the figure (470,000) had aptly been captured by the Ghana Leaving Standard Survey reports and other surveys and called for pragmatic steps by Government and civil society to put more children in schools to improve their lives.

He suggested that Government could adopt the strategies of the SfL where children of school going age and school dropouts were being assisted to become functional literate using their mother tongue with most of the classes flexibly organized and community-based.

Mr. Osman Rahman,  Executive Director of GDCA, said the SfL, which is one of the its outlets, was started in 1995 with only two districts, but it had now covered the three Northern Regions making remarkable transformation in the lives of many people.

He said about 151,308 out-of-school children had been made literates and they could now read and write while others had been enrolled in the formal educational system.

Mr Rahman said the SfL adopted a community-based approach by including the community members in their programme development and implementation.

He said teachers involved in the programme were volunteers, and expressed the hope that the success of the SfL would be replicated in other parts of the country.

Source: GNA

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