Friday, 25 July 2014

School for Life meets DAs and GES officials on CBE Learners integration

By: Communications and Advocacy Officer

School for Life has conducted stakeholder meetings with officials of the District Assemblies and the Ghana Education Service. The meetings are held with the District Chief Executives and District Directors of Education, GES/SfL Desk Officers and other Officials of the DAs and GES in all districts implementing the Ghana Complementary Basic Education Programme. Following successful graduation of learners who were enrolled in the first cycle of the Programme, it became necessary for SfL to take steps towards getting these learners to smoothly integrate into the formal schools. Indeed, the ultimate aim of the Complementary Basic Education (CBE) Programme is to get out-of-school children into formal school. This is done by getting the children enrolled into the programme, and when they have sufficiently attained proficiency in numeracy and literacy, they are transitioned into regular formal school. In line with the Programme intent, the CBE Management unit organized Regional level workshops with these stakeholders to develop strategies for the smooth integration of the learners.
Following the CBE Management Unit organized workshops, SfL held initial district level meetings with the District Assemblies and the Ghana Education Service in all implementing districts to further develop and sharpen strategies towards making them district specific.  This will ensure that the strategies are fine-tuned towards addressing challenges and needs of each district.

Outputs of the field meetings with the DAs and GES were further used as inputs in a meeting held today with the GES/SfL Desk Officers of CBE implementing districts.

In this meeting, the Desk Officers elaborated further on the strategies and assigned responsibilities and time schedules to the strategies. They were also provided orientation on the use of the placement test tools for integrating the CBE learners. This provided them insight into how to conduct the placement of the learners when school resumes. Officers understood and appreciated the placement test tools. This will guide them to better conduct the testing and integrate the learners in classes of the formal school based on their proficiency levels.
Having established shared agreements and understanding with the DAs and GES, it is expected that the learners will experience incident free integration into formal schools. The Integration of Learners is crucial in ensuring that these hitherto out-of-school children are granted their full right to basic education in Ghana.

Thursday, 10 July 2014


By: Abdul-Mumin Ahmed, C&AO, School for Life

The Complementary Basic Education (CBE) Programme being operated by School for Life with funding from DANIDA, DFID and UNICEF in fourteen (14) Districts in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions is at its climax for the 2013/2014 cycle. The current cycle of the Programme has benefited about 15,000 out-of-school children. These children have successfully passed through nine-month tutelage in their mother-tongue and are sufficiently able to read, write and do basic arithmetic with the help of an untrained teacher called a “Facilitator”.
As a best practice of School for Life, graduation ceremonies are usually organized for children who are successful in acquiring required proficiency in literacy and numeracy, having been through the nine-month cycle of instruction. The graduation ceremony is done yearly in every community that has a CBE class to serve a number of purposes:
  1. To mark the end of SfL’s engagement with children, in terms of providing a promenade for teaching and learning;
  2. Provide a platform for public assessment of learners by GES officials who support in integrating learners into formal school;
  3. To contribute to building confidence in the learners; and
  4. To avail an opportunity where parents meet and discuss among themselves, with SfL and with GES Officials on options available for integrating CBE learners into formal school, the need to invest in the education of children and the role of parents in the education of their wards.
These Graduation ceremonies have been successfully organized in all communities in which the CBE programme operates with funding from DANIDA and DFID. This is currently ongoing in the programme communities funded by UNICEF in the Savelugu/Nanton District.
CBE Learners being publicly assessed in the Tolon District

This year’s edition of Learners’ graduation was marked by mixed feelings of happiness and nostalgia in the faces of the enthusiastic learners and a sense of disappointment in the eyes of SfL Staff, GES Officials and chiefs and Parents of Learners. Learners who were being graduated were excited of being able to read and write after only nine months of CBE classes and were particularly happy that they were now able to go to school. Some GES Officials were surprised that these learners after only 9 months of instruction were able to do additions and subtractions with renaming (carry over and borrowing respectively), considering that some pupils in primary school are unable to do these arithmetic.

Learners Hymning Praises of SfL in the Graduation at Katanga Community in the East Gonja District

SfL Staff, GES Officials, Chiefs and Parents of Learners could not withhold their joy, realizing that these zealous learners who were fervently making efforts to be in school may never have had this opportunity of attaining literacy and getting to school, but for the CBE intervention. However, Parents were disappointed to hear that SfL will no longer deliver CBE in their communities. The SfL Programme is withdrawing services from some communities due to a shift in the strategic focus of DANIDA funding from service delivery to advocacy. In these mix feelings, Parents took time to thank SfL for the intervention that has seen their children go to school.

Parents pleading with GES to take steps to integrate learners into formal school

Having successfully made learners literate in their mother-tongue, SfL is continuously making efforts to support GES to get these children into formal schools so that they are granted the opportunity of attaining the highest level of education they are capable of. To this effect, Chiefs and Parents are encouraged not to relent in their efforts at sending children to school. GES and District Assemblies are also encouraged to provide central schools that can take care of pupils from a number of nearby communities. These efforts are necessary in ensuring that every child enjoys his right to basic education in Ghana.