Friday, 23 May 2014


By: Abdul-Mumin Ahmed, Communications Officer

The Management Unit, of the Ghana Complementary Basic Education Programme, organized a regional workshop in Tamale on ensuring smooth transition and successful integration of the CBE learners into the formal primary schools. The workshop which took place on the 19th of May 2014, and had the attendance of District Chief Executives, District Coordinating Directors and the District Directors of Education in the CBE beneficiary Districts, as well as Implementing Partners of the CBE Programme, was necessary, following the eight months implementation of the programme into the first cycle. Having implemented CBE in deprived districts for close to the end of the first cycle, it become very important for stakeholders to meet and discuss on how to get learners who will be graduating and will be integrated into the formal school system by September, 2014.

The Ghana Complementary Basic Education (GCBE) Programme is a nation-wide programme that provides complementary education in the mother tongue to out-of-school children within the ages of 8 and 14 years in underserved and hard to reach communities in Ghana for a nine month cycle. 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. Preparations towards implementation of GCBE for the first cycle started in October 2013 in 32 districts in Northern, Upper East, Upper West and the Brong Ahafo Regions. Evidence from implementation of the programme by SfL, where it gains its root from reveals that out-of-school children after undergoing this cycle of training, becomes functionally literate in numeracy and literacy and are able to join at least primary 3 of the formal school.

Coming to the end of the first cycle, it becomes an overwhelming issue of concern to stakeholders on how to ensure that these learners do not graduate from the CBE programme and become school drop outs, as a good number of the communities do not still have access to formal schools.  Stakeholders deliberated at length on the many barriers that potentially could bar learners from getting integrated into school. Notable among the identified barriers included; socio-cultural demand side barriers, child labour, household migration, long distances to schools in most deprived communities and inadequate teachers and school infrastructure. For example, a total of 932 communities comprising of 176 CBE classes have no access to primary schools within a 3km radius and over 4,573 learners do not have access to primary schools within a 5km radius. In view of the barriers to transition of learners into regular classrooms, participants of the workshop, worked in groups and devised short term pragmatic strategies to smoothen successful integration of learners into formal schools. Some short term strategies such as providing learners with support services such as bicycles to aid transportation, provision of needy students’ scholarship to deprived CBE learners and enrolment campaigns and awareness creation among parents on issues of transition and integration were identified as key short term practical strategies that will be used by districts to ensure that the education of the CBE learners does not end after the CBE programme. It is thus, envisioned that implementation of these strategies by educational actors in the districts will result in complete integration of all CBE learners into regular classrooms. This is ultimately directed towards ensuring that all out-of-school children have the opportunity of attaining the highest level of education they are capable of achieving.

Friday, 2 May 2014

RCC, School for Life and IBIS holds Northern Regional Education Forum

By: Abdul-Mumin Ahmed

School for Life and IBIS are non-governmental organizations in the northern region that works to improve access to relevant quality basic education in northern Ghana. The two organizations after critically analyzing BECE results of schools in the region realized that the region has consistently been the worst performing region in the country for the past three years. While 51.86 percent of students who sat for the BECE in Ghana had aggregate 6-30, only 10 percent had the equivalent pass grades in district such as Savelugu, East Gonja, West Gonja and Saboba districts, all in the Northern region. The region resultantly had the number of pupils who failed the examination, exceeding the number that passed the exams. The abysmal performance of pupils in the basic certificate exams prompted the need for an educational forum that will bring together all key stakeholders in education delivery within the region to discuss on the issue and find ways of improving the performance of pupils and schools at the basic level in the region.

The Northern Regional Minister, Alhaji Limuna Mohammed Muniru addressing participants at the just ended Educational Forum

Discussions on the issue between School for Life and IBIS on one hand and Regional Coordinating Council and GES on the other hand lead to a fruitful collaboration in the organization of the forum
The forum brought together the Northern Regional Minister, the Regional Director of Education, the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives, the District Coordinating Directors, the Presiding Members, District Directors of Education, Chiefs and Civil Socity Organizations of districts within the region.

Chiefs addressing pertinent issues in the forum

These identified key stakeholders met and deliberated extensively on the current developmental challenges confronting the education sector in the region and came out with strategies to address the challenges. Among strategies that will be used by districts to improve performance at the basic level include:

  1. Monitoring of Schools and Teachers to be taken up as part of MMDCE’s roles,
  1.  SMCs/PTA should and will be encouraged to monitor Teachers in schools in their various communities,
  1. Organization of regular quiz and reading competitions among students, schools and circuits,
  1. Regular reshuffling of teachers and
  1. Regular record keeping of Teachers presence and lessons delivery in schools by Head Teachers

Outcomes of the forum is expected to effectively contribute towards improvement academic performance in basic schools in the region.