Programme Manager for WUZDA Ghana, Mr. Abdul Karim Ziblim, has charged politicians to wash their hands off the technical operation of education, if they truly want the sector to succeed in training future leaders.
This call, was made when WUZDA Ghana paid a visit to the Savannah Regional Education Directorate, to discuss factors affecting the enrolment of girls in school in especially the Jentong – Fushila and Dakpemyili communities, where the “Right to be a Girl – Optimized A24Y – Policy Prioritization as a Factor” project is being implemented.
The Jentong – Fushila and Dakpemyili communities have very low numbers of girls in school, due on one hand to the lack of, or low levels of understanding of the importance of education by parents and the lack of facilities and government interventions targeting support for rural communities in the area of formal education, on the other.
Mr. Abdul Karim who led the team to meet the Savannah Regional Director of Education and his team, reiterated the need for more to be done by all stakeholders in the area, to help increase the enrolment of girls, since they fall within the vulnerable grouping, with less opportunities as their male counterparts.
Gender Desk Officer for WUZDA Ghana and Program Officer of the “Optimized A24Y – Policy Prioritization as a Factor” project, Felicia Kaawie recounted her engagements with the communities and the results that came thereof.
WUZDA Ghana in the past week, has been engaging the Education Directorates of the North East Gonja District and the Savannah Region, to discuss solutions to some factors contributing to low enrolment of the girl child in school in the region.
Some communities in the Savannah Region have very low numbers of girls of school going age in school, due partly to the low understanding of parents of the importance of formal education.
Communities like Jentong – Fushila and Dakpemyili each have less than 10% of the girls in the communities in school. Majority of the residents in these communities are engaged mainly in farming and petty trading as sources of livelihoods, while some of them have no sources of income for survival. This is affecting the education of children, especially girls in those communities.
WUZDA Ghana is intervening in Jentong – Fushila and Dakpemyili communities, mainly to support them through series of engagements, to make them understand the importance of education for the child, especially the girl.
To tackle the challenges with regards to infrastructure and government approach to school enrolment and child support, WUZDA Ghana has been engaging the education directorates in the North East Gonja District and the Savannah Region itself.
Savannah Regional Education Director, Mumuni Mbonwura Francis conceded that there are some challenges to do with education in the rural areas.
According to Mr. Mbonwura, the escalation of the challenges with education in the rural areas, is mainly as a result of a lack of priority approach, which come with limited resources for education.
Addressing the findings by WUZDA Ghana that the withdrawal of the School Feeding Programme in Jentong – Fushila and Dakpemyili has negatively affected the quality of education in those communities, the education director mentioned that the feeding in school was introduced mainly to help pupils and students in the deprived communities since parents in those areas have none, or low income generating activities and need support.
Mr. Mbonwura after revealing that the School Feeding Programme is not being handled by the Ghana Education Service, assured the team that he will look into the issue and find some resolution to it. Mr. Abdul Karim Ziblim bemoaned the interference of politicians in the affairs of some technical sectors of the economy, including education.
He said the fact that a key intervention and a problem solving approach as the School Feeding Programme is left to be managed through politics, makes it unlikely for the realization of its objective.
The Ghana School Feeding Program (GSFP) which started in 2005, is an initiative of the Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Program (CAADP), which seeks to enhance food security and reduce hunger in line with the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on hunger, poverty and malnutrition.
However, overtime, with governments changing hands, the programme has suffered many setbacks, with political parties in power appointing their executives to lead in running and managing it, instead of adding it as a programme, to the responsibilities of the Ghana Education Service.