Fatima Anafu-Astanga, GNA
Bolgatanga, July 9, GNA – About 6,105 out of school children from 170 communities in the Upper East Region have been prepared for full time enrolment into Compulsory Basic Education (CBE).
The Reaching and Teaching of School Children Project (REACH) which is aimed at increasing transition of out of school (OOSC) into mainstream basic schools is collaborating with the Ghana education Service to engage these children.
The project which is being implemented by Plan Ghana International for the first time in the Upper East Region identified 2,601 girls and 3,504 boys from 21 communities in the Bawku Municipality, 13 communities in the Kassena-Nankana Municipality, and 48 communities in the Kassena-Nankana West District.
Some of the children were identified from 14 communities in Nabdam District, 51 communities in the Binduri District and 23 communities in the Bongo District.
Mr Sulemana Dana, Project Manager, at Plan International Ghana, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency said education was a right for every child and therefore it was unacceptable for parents to give excuses for any child who is out of school irrespective of the challenges.
Mr Dana said CBE was an alternative to ensuring that children out of school and above the age of enrolment were supported by government to go back to the classroom, adding that government should ensure that the right funding was provided to support the Ghana Education Service (GES) to carry out the activities.
The Project Manager who acknowledged that other implementing partners in some districts were doing well, called for real and right annual budgets to support the implementation of the project and said there was the urgent need to look at the real causes of children dropping out of school and to tackle them. “So that we do not continue to have a generation of children out of school where CBE is used to bring them back” he added.
He observed that some communities did not have schools at their disposal and so accessibility to the classroom was an issue, whilst some suffered challenges with respect to teachers, furniture and infrastructure which contributed to children falling out of school.
He appealed to government to commit to providing the needed support for the children to be in school.
The Project Manager acknowledged the cooperation received from the communities and advised them to recognize education as a critical privilege and told them to be responsible and ensure that they support their children to be in school.
Mr Stephen Konde, Project Coordinator at Plan Ghana, also in an interview, indicated that the project would start in October and end in June 2019, whilst training for classroom facilitators would take off in August 2018. “Bursaries in terms of books and writing materials would be provided to the children”, he stated.
The REACH project is targeting 90,000 OOSC and hopes to achieve 70 per cent of children enrolled into formal basic school by end of 2020.
The project which is in its fourth year, between 2015 and 2017 alone, identified 60 249 out of school children and enrolled them into formal school, constituting 26,656 girls and 33,593 boys.