Regional News of 2014-08-21

School for life plans strategy .... improve quality education in deprived regions
School for Life (SFL), a nongovernmental organization in the Northern Region, has laid out a five year (2012-2018) strategic plan it says will contribute to the overall strategic goal and mission of improving access to quality education in Ghana and at the same time ensure civil society participation in education is strengthened.
The first SFL strategic priority area is education advocacy and policy change, the second is civil society coordination and participating, the third is delivery, demonstrating and promoting compulsory basic education (CBE), the fourth is learning, development and evidence base and the fifth is organizational capacity development. In the first place, SFL intends to advocate for pro-poor policies and change in education, targeting access to relevant quality basic education, and promote and support their implementation. To this end, SFL expects the approval of the CBE policy by the Ministry of Education and enacted by parliament. In addition, SFL wants to create public awareness of the structural barriers in education, the existence of the CBE policy and its implementation. Furthermore, it expects an increased allocation of trained teachers, especially female teachers, to deprived communities of the country. School for Life also intends to provide leadership in promoting civil society groups participation in policy/decision making, in CBE implementation and in improving coordination and harmonization among civil society organizations and initiatives for improved accountability and influence. Not only does SFL intends to provide leadership but also deliver, demonstrate and promote flexible and complementary basic education models adapted to the situation and the needs of the hardest-to-reach areas and marginalized out of school children of Ghana, particularly in Northern, Upper East, Upper West, and other deprived regions/districts in the country. Equally importantly, SFL wants to develop and provide evidence, capacity building and technical support for appropriate pedagogic approaches, methods and material to be adopted and applied by the formal primary education system in order to improve access, relevance and quality teaching and learning in formal schools in Ghana and beyond. Lastly, SFL intends to strengthen its internal capacity to provide strategic leadership and direction in the CBE Alliance, to improve its relationship-building and advocacy approaches, and to document and make known its results, components and values. This dimension includes a series of capacities related to project management, leadership, technical skills and knowledge in the topics which form the content of School for Life’s Strategic Plans. SFL started in 1995, springing from cooperation on rural community development between the Northern Region based civil society organizations, Ghana Development Communities Association (GDCA), and a Danish NGO, Ghana Friends Groups.
AFRICA DISPROPORTIONATELY HIT BY CLIMATE CHANGE – REPORT By Inform Ghana A Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Foundation report on climate change and food security authored by Dr. Anna Antwi notes that Africa accounts for only 3.6 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions yet the continent is at a greater risk of the negative impacts of extreme weather conditions, due to its peculiar vulnerabilities. In Africa, the agricultural sector is the safety net for the rural poor, accounting for 70% employment, 30% of GDP and 50% of exports. Therefore, the report said the increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather conditions is leading to drought and floods in many parts, such as the countries around the Rift Valley, Plains of Mozambique, Senegal and the Gambia. Other factors accounting for the vulnerability of African countries according to the report were: •Disappearing water bodies, as a result of many factors like pollution, population pressure, evaporation due to deforestation and high temperatures, and inadequate rainfall or variability in precipitation as a result of climate variability and change. • Rising sea levels affecting the fish numbers and eroding the coastal areas and displacing coastal communities. • Energy use – land grabbing, and biofuel production could have negative consequences for food security if not well managed and the displacement of rural communities of their land and incomes. In some areas, this has led to conflicts. • Poor economic and social infrastructure. • Poverty (low per capita GDP, life expectancy; and high infant mortality, hunger, illiteracy rate). Africa also has higher number of Least Developed Countries • Increasing disaster risk of climate change in a number of sectors that provide livelihoods to the people •Conflicts caused by climate, social, economic and political unrest • Existing stresses on health and well being (e.g., HIV/AIDS, illiteracy) • Migration (youth) and rapid urbanisation: rapid migration to cities without jobs and facilities to cater for the large numbers • Weak institutional & low adaptive capacity (weak institutional framework: policy development & its implementation, leadership and management, limited human, technological and financial capacities).Furthermore, the report noted that people who largely depend on natural resources for their very existence and livelihoods like small-scale farmers, forest dependent people and fishers are the most hit of climate change. • Giving reasons for such a phenomenon, the report noted that climate change affects the suitability of diverse crops, animals and pasture, and impact on the productivity and health of land, forest and water bodies. • It also noted that areas such as the arid and semi-arid regions in Africa are the most vulnerable areas of climate change because of multiple stresses and low adaptive capacity. • This vulnerability, the report concluded, is due to several factors such as over-exploitation of natural resources, widespread poverty, poor infrastructure, high illiteracy rates, conflicts, and dependence of a large share of its economies on climate-sensitive sectors, mainly rain-fed agriculture.
Source: Inform Ghana
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