10,000 out-of-school children to be back to school this year – Minister

Ntim Fordjoiur

The Reverend John Ntim Fordjour, a Deputy Minister of Education in charge of General Education, says the Education Ministry through the Complementary Education Agency will bring back 10,000 out-of-school children into school this year.

“Last year alone, 3,000 out-of-school children were brought back to school through the Complementary Education Agency (CEA). This year, we are targeting 10,000 children by the close of year.”

“We also have another programme running, that is Ghana Education Outcome Project (GEOP), which is targeting 70,000 children that are out of school to reintegrate them back into school and to give them the skills needed to thrive,” he said.

Mr Fordjour said this during a Conference on Tackling Out-Of-School Children in West Africa organised by the Associates For Change in partnership with the Centre For the Study of Economies of Africa, Dalan Development Consultants and the Complementary Education Agency.

The two-day event focused on “Scaling up accelerated education programmes in Africa to tackle the high prevalence of Out of School Children in West Africa.”

The Minister said it formed part of government’s resolve to ensure all children of school age had access to education devoid of status and condition.

He said the Ministry in the last two years, that’s in the first years of the functioning of the CEA and GEOP, had been able to reintegrate 17,000 out-of-school children into schools.

Mr Fordjour said though the numbers of out-of-school children were growing globally, Government was committed to ensure that whatever challenges, being it societal or financial, that led them out of school, were addressed systematically to ensure their continuous stay in school.

“We cannot have a holistic education and be proud of what we have done and achieved within the Ministry of Education if we don’t tackle out-of-school children,” he added.

Mr Fordjour said between 2017 and 2024 4overnment had built more than 1,132 educational infrastructure from the kindergarten to the higher levels of education to improve school enrollment and learning.

He said, so far, Ghana had been able to achieve a gross pre-primary enrollment of 100 percent, making it one of the few countries in the world that had been able to achieve such feet.

Dr James Natia Adam, Research Technical Lead, Associates For Change, urged Governments of West Africa to allocate at least five per cent of their Gross Domestic Product to address the increasing numbers of out-of-school children in the subregion.

“When governments in the subregion increase their investments to support out-of-school initiatives and programmes, it can help address the issues that we are faced with.”

“For instance, if the Government of Ghana adequately supports the CEA, it may also be able to work in partnership with education innovators to carry on with accelerated education programmes to support out-of-school children,” he said.

New UNESCO data shows that 244 million children and youth between the ages of six and 18 worldwide are still out of school with 40 per cent in sub-Saharan Africa.

Source: GNA

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