Over 20,000 pupils to return to school

PupilsTwo non-governmental organisations operating in the Upper East Region have begun a three-year educational programme to return about 20,441 school drop- outs to school to continue with their education.

The children are expected to undergo a nine-month foundation classes through literacy work in batches, after which they would be fully integrated into the mainstream school enrollment.

The programme dubbed “The Ghana Complementary Basic Education (GCBE) Programme,” which begun on Tuesday in the Upper East Region would take care of children from eight to 14 years.

Afrikids Ghana and Link Community Development, who are into child rights and advocacy, are implementing the programme in the Region. The former is implementing the programme in the Talensi, Nabdam and Bongo districts, whilst the latter is in charge of the Kassena-Nankana area.

This came to light when Afrikids Ghana invited journalists to visit some of the communities including Gane-Asonge and Kongo Daboring, where the programme had begun.

Mr. Richard Amoah, Coordinator for the programme who spoke to the Ghana News Agency during the field visit, said similar classes had also started in other communities in the Nabdam, Talensi and Bongo districts, where his outfit was implementing the programme.

He indicated that the GCBE was a functional literacy programme initiated by the Government of Ghana in partnership with the Department For International Development for children who were not in school to have some form of literacy education through literacy classes organised by the NGOs in their own communities.

Mr. Amoah explained that the intervention was in line with the Ghana Government’s effort to meet the Millennium Development Goals, which demanded that countries create conducive learning environment to make it possible for children of school-going-age to have universal primary education.

He stated that the beneficiary children would attend classes for nine months with the support of locally trained facilitators who would be using the local language, adding, “classes are done in the afternoon to enable the children help with household chores.  The classrooms are structured to accommodate 25 learners, made up of 13 females and 12 males”.

He stated that the programme which had 60 classes in the Nabdam, Talensi and Bongo districts are structured around the core subject areas of numeracy, literacy, moral education and life skills.

Mr. Amoah said 1,500 children from the three Districts who are expected to benefit from the programme would receive all the required teaching and learning materials including numeracy primer, reading and writing primers, pencils, erasers, crayons, sharpeners, writing and work books and drawing books for the classes.

He stated that five School Management Committee members made up of three females and two males would help the work in the communities by way of mobilization and governance.

Besides, he noted there would be awareness and advocacy activities to bring on board all stakeholders in the communities to make it sustainable after the scheduled three years period.

He said the programme is being implemented in collaboration with the communities with oversight responsibility by the districts education office, districts education oversight committees and the district assemblies

The District Director of Education, Mr. Edward Azure who was part of the team doing the rounds, expressed shock about the number of children who were not in school and said his outfit would ensure that such children were enrolled in schools.

He told the parents that the best legacy they could bequeath to their children was education and entreated them to take good care of their education.

Some of the parents who accompanied their children to the opening of the classes commended the stakeholders for implementing the programme and said it would help them a lot.

One of the parents, Mrs. Atiama Azure said she could not take care of her child’s education because her husband was sick and she only had to fend for the family and as such could not cater for her child’s education.

The GNA gathered that the huge number of school-going-aged children who were out of school was attributable to the illegal small-scale mining activities in the area, where children went about doing “galamsey”.

Source: GNA

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