A total of 1,596 out-of-school girls in the Gushegu District of the Northern Region have successfully graduated after nine months of informal education under the first Action Aid Compulsory Basic Education (CBE).
The number forms 60 per cent of the total number of 3050 out-of-school children who were selected from 97 communities to undergo the nine-month non-formal education.
The Ministry of Education in its quest to meet the global goals of Universal Primary Education and Sustainable Development Goal 4 rolled out the Compulsory Basic Education in 2012.
The programme, which is expected to last six years from 2012 to 2018, will provide formal education to at least 200,000 out-of-school children in Ghana after successfully completing the nine-month non-formal under the CBE education.
The community-owned programme implemented by a number of non-governmental organizations including Action Aid also has the objective of ensuring that at least 50% out of school girls get access to formal education.
Being cognizant of the challenge in accessing education in the hard-to-reach areas in the northern region, Action Aid and its partners NORSAAC with support from the Department for International Development and USAID commenced the CBE in the Gushegu District.
The programme saw the training of the 122 facilitators, the formation and strengthening of 505 local committee and school management members.
Facilitator Nyibei Kofi Daniel handled about 100 out-of-school children in the Diyali Community.
He explains the state of children in the Diyali community.
“Diyali community has no formal school so children each day spend time engaging in farming activities,” he said.
“Some also play off the entire day. The next community with school is about four kilometres, a distance most children would not want to walk, these children will tell you that they have grown past school going age. When persuaded, however, the implementation of the CBE has seen most children successfully going through education and now, they are those who insist that their junior siblings join the CBE class.”
Though the CBE is in its fourth cycle in Ghana, the graduation is the first of Action Aid in the Gushegu District.
The implementers, Action Aid, expect the learners to be enrolled into the formal education system in the next academic year in September, 2017.
“From the animation of the communities through to the beginning of the CBE, Action Aid has collaborated with the Ghana Education Service,” Northern Region Programmes Manager of Action Aid Madam Esther Boateng said.
“These children were assessed before graduating them. So from September, G.E.S is going to make sure that these children are in school and they will continue monitoring the activities of these children to ensure they are retained.”
Ms Boateng is worried some learners dropped out along the line, reducing the number of enrolment from 3,050 to 3,005 at the close of the programme.
A total of 1,409 boys formed part of the total of 3005. A graduation ceremony was held for these children and the 122 facilitators.
“About 45 children could not make it due to migration, absenteeism, and other factors that affect the education of the rural children.”
Learners were awarded certificates, exercise books, and pencils to enable their smooth commencement of formal education while facilitators were also awarded certificates and incentives.
By Zubaida Ismail|TV3|3news.com|Ghana