Friday, 25 April 2014


By: Abdul-Mumin Ahmed, Communications and Advocacy Officer, SfL

School for Life (SfL) is a non-governmental organization in Northern Ghana that works to strengthen civil society’s role in improving access to relevant quality education by functioning as lead organization in delivering, demonstrating and advocating for mother-tongue based complementary basic education in underserved areas of Ghana. 

In line with SfL’s mission of working to improve quality basic education in Ghana, the organization is partnering with IBIS Ghana, the Northern Regional Coordinating Council and the Northern Regional Directorate of Education to organize a two day forum on education. The forum which is slated for April 28th and 29th 2014 is aimed at providing education stakeholders in the region the platform to deliberate on the current developmental challenges confronting the education sector in Northern Region, and come out with workable solutions to surmount the identified challenges. The forum will also afford the public the opportunity to discuss the utilization of donor funds and the Ghana Partnership for Education Grant in particular. This is ultimately meant to assess the impact of the donor funds on performance at the basic education level in Northern Region and to come out with more effective ways of utilizing the funds to better education delivery and performance at the basic level.

To this effect, districts are selected to make presentations on the progress of basic education in their respective districts in the past three years. Importantly, sub-themes bothering on Teachers supply and distribution, Pupil-Teacher contact hours, Girl child education and Education finance sources and utilization will be identified and groups formed around them for discussions. Key solutions and strategies identified will pave way for district-specific action plans which will be monitored by the Regional Coordinating Council.
Stand by for more details from the Forum…

Friday, 11 April 2014


By: Issahaku Ibrahim, CBE Coordinator, Savelugu District

The Director of Education for Komenda, Edina, Abirem and Aguafo (KEEA) District, Mr. Gabriel K. Gademor shed tears during a UNICEF review meeting in Tamale.  The two days review meeting was held at the Arewa Sunshine hotel in Tamale on Tuesday February 25 and Wednesday February 26, 2014. 

The meeting was the first of its kind to be organized by UNICEF under the UNICEF-sponsored CBE programme and brought together officials of UNICEF, School for Life Management, Directors of Education, National Service Coordinators and District Coordinators of the CBE program. The purpose of the event was to bring together key actors of the UNICEF-sponsored Complementary Basic Education (CBE) programme in the country to review implementation of the Program and the way forward.

As part of the 2 days programme, the group undertook a field visit to a CBE class at Jenjorikukuo, a community 6   Kilometers south-east of Savelugu, the District Capital. In presenting his report of the field visit at a plenary session, Mr. Gabriel K. Gademor shed tears over what he described as great and incredible performance of children who after only 4 months of literacy lessons were able to recognize 3 letter words, read and do simple arithmetics. He was particularly overwhelmed by the ability of the children to pronounce and write unknown words and names including his name which was not familiar in the children’s setting.  

The Director fumed with anger comparing the output of regular classroom teachers in his district to the CBE Facilitators, who are not trained teachers and are not paid salaries.  He lamented that unlike Facilitators, some teachers in the formal schools with all the monthly salaries and logistics could not teach children up to class 6 to read and pronounce 4 letter words.

The CBE model, He concluded is a huge success even though the nine month cycle is yet to be completed. This and many others go a long way to confirm how effective the Ghana Complementary Basic Education Programme is in making children literate after only nine months of instruction.

Friday, 4 April 2014


By: Abdul-Mumin Ahmed

The Ghana Complementary Basic Education (GCBE) Programme is a nation-wide programme that provides complementary education to out-of-school children within the ages of 8 and 14 years in underserved and hard to reach communities in Ghana. With the support of the Department for International Development (DFID), the Government of Ghana partners with key Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and other education stakeholders to implement complementary education in targeted districts in Ghana. DFID is sponsoring the programme for the initial three years (2013 to 2016) with the aim that the Government of Ghana will take over sponsorship of the programme after 2016. Implementation of GCBE started in October 2013 in 32 districts in Northern, Upper East, Upper West and the Brong Ahafo Regions.

Having made significant progress in the implementation of the programme for six months, key implementing partners and stakeholders met to reflect and discuss the effectiveness of the CBE teaching and learning materials and the CBE trainings. The purpose of the reflection meeting was to; identify challenges faced by Facilitators in the use of the CBE TLMs and how these challenges could be addressed in the next cycle, review the effectiveness of the training of trainers’ workshops and to discuss how to improve the teaching and learning materials and training workshops under the complementary basic education programnme.

The two days reflection meeting, organized by the GCBE Management Unit had in attendance personnel form the Ministry of Education (MoE), the Ghana Education Service (GES) and the Implementing Partners; including School for Life, PRONET, Ghana Institute of Linguistics, Literacy and Bible Translation (GLLBT) and Link Community Development (LCD). Dr Leslie Casely-Hayford of the CBE management unit lamented that Ghana currently commits 12 percent of its income to education yet only 2 percent of primary 1 to primary 3pupils are able to attain the required proficiency levels. This phenomenon, she said is unacceptable and must be addressed with concerted efforts by education stakeholders.

The meeting achieved its objectives. Major challenges that confront facilitators, especially with the use of the CBE Manuals and TLMs were discussed. More importantly, specific inconsistencies regarding the orthography of some of the languages used were identified
Discussions in respect of these challenges provided the requisite impetus for improvement of the manuals and TLMs so as to improve learning outcomes of pupils.

Preparations for the second phase of the programme have started with the Request for Proposals (RfP) by the Management Unit. It is envisioned that the outcome of the meeting will contribute significantly to improving implementation of the Programme in the next cycle.