General News Tue, 19 Mar 2019
The African Business Centre for Developing Education (ABCDE) is a non-governmental organization which focuses on helping the government and the business community to deliver various services to the educational sector.The NGO is dedicated to developing the skills, knowledge and core competencies of students and young graduates needed for their personal and professional growth, and attracting business leaders to play various roles to strengthen the educational system.
Created in 2012, ABCDE has worked with a program of mentorships, internships, and capacity building and is now moving to widen its range of engagements with the business sector. The range of collaboration that the business and educational sector could promote cover a wide area. This includes the provision of infrastructure, teaching and learning materials, teacher training, student mentorships and internships, provision of scholarships and other forms of assistance to students.
Currently, ABCDE is active and operational in 10 senior high schools some of which are Achimota SHS, Accra Girls, Ghanatta, Labone SHS, Holy Trinity SHS, UCC Valco Hall etc and has mentored over 15,000 students in the past 6years both at the senior high school and tertiary level. ABCDE’s ability to service a larger clientele of schools and students depends on the availability of mentors, facilitators, facilities and donors Our core curriculum includes Entrepreneurship, ICT, Financial Literacy, Healthy and Wellness, and Environmental and Sanitation.
Through the ABCDE's model, industrial leaders, entrepreneurs, company directors, chief executive of?cers and other professionals from various industries, ?rms, the ?eld of commerce and the service sector serve as Mentors and work directly with students to introduce them to a broad range of work-readiness skills such as negotiating skills, personal development skills, ICT skills, time management skills, decision-making skills, numeracy and literacy skills, positive work ethics, con?dence, leadership interpersonal skills and teamwork amongst others.
ABCDE over the years has benefitted from the direction and support of several prominent Ghanaians, some of whom have also been mentors to ABCDE Clubs and members in Senior High Schools and Tertiary institutions. These individuals include Dr. Michael Agyekum of KAMA Group of Companies; Dr Aramansa Barnor of Barnor Memorial Hospital; Gen Joseph Nunoo-Mensah, former National Security Advisor and three-time Army Chief of Staff, Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, former Minister And Ambassador, Nii Arday Clegg, a former radio presenter and renowned lawyer and Dr Kwame Ampofo, former Member of Parliament and CEO of the Tema Oil Refinery.
Others include Moses Baiden, CEO of Margins Group, Dr. Adjei of Kasapreko, Richard Brandt of CodeTrain, Sophia Adjei of Unilever, Kingsley Abrokwah of Pentium Tech, and Petra Aba Asamoah, Former General Manager Commercial for Media General. Many more prominent corporate chieftains continue to support ABCDE from behind the scenes.
ABCDE’S solution to the double-track problem
Ghana is currently running a double track system at the SHS level. This shift system implies that at any particular time about half of the students at the SHS level are in schools, while the other half are at home. Basically, in any given school year, two students have to share a desk and, for those in boarding schools, a dormitory bed. This system of education leaves a large category of SHS students idle at any given time. Unlike the single-track system, the new system effectively divides the entire student body into two different tracks. This means that while one track is in school, the other is on vacation.
The ABCDE organization finds this ongoing system, notwithstanding any advantages, as also carrying the risks for all kinds of vices if alternative educational outlets are not arranged for the students who are on forced “extended vacations” hence adding to its mentorship/internship approach and operations a practical program which seeks to intervene directly to assist students in SHS when outside the school system with their core skills development.
This project is dubbed the ”ABCDE GOES PRACTICAL”.
The project seeks to train students mainly in the second cycle schools on skills such as soap/detergent making, bead and accessories making, she butter processing, kente weaving, IT Coding training and photojournalism. The objective of this program is to solve the educational gap problem by equipping students with entrepreneurial and income-generating skills. This goes a long way to take the minds of these students off the various social vices they may be engaged in as a result of being home.
The project will take place at the ABCDE complex in Asylum down or in the facilities of relevant SHS, or on the premises of interested companies and industrial partners. It will be facilitated by experienced trainers and skills coach. Each month will have a different 5 days intensive program which starts with the theoretical aspect of the skills being taught, the practical training and packaging and marketing.
As the organization scales up its operations, especially to fill gaps created by the double-track system, it will need even greater resources. ABCDE is therefore also appealing to companies of all sizes to make their professional and managerial staff available for mentoring students in school as well as at home. The NGO also continues to seek financial assistance from any philanthropists and from the Corporate Social Responsibility and marketing budgets of major companies and corporations
Interested students or who would like to enroll or volunteer as trainers will have to call 0302 950 488 or visit www.abcdeafrica.org to register.
Source: Clifford Tetteh, PR, ABCDE