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Regional News Thu, 30 Jun 2005

Under-development in the North blamed on lack of education

Sisipe, (N/R), June 30, GNA- A traditional ruler in the Northern Region, has observed that the region was lagging behind in development because most parents failed to send their children to school and not because formal education was introduced to the area late.

"Currently, many irresponsible parents are still refusing to send their children to school. There are also many children who have been sent to school but continue to play truancy, "Alhaji Ibraimah Harruna Kibasibi I, Kpembewura (Chief of Kpembe) made the observation at the graduation of 23 literacy learners of the School for Life (SFL), a non-governmental organisation at Sisipe in the East Gonja District.

The Kpembewura noted that various educational programmes such as Mass Education and Adult Education instituted in an attempt to increase literacy rate in the country had not achieved the desired results. He therefore urged the Government and education authorities to show greater commitment to the implementation of the Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education (FCUBE) programme.

"The authorities have been shouting on roof tops about compulsory education yet little efforts are being made towards achieving the target goals," Kpembewura Kibasibi observed.

He commended the SFL for supporting children who through no fault of theirs would have been deprived of education. " I therefore send my best compliments to the government and people of Denmark whose sacrifices are turning thousands of our deprived children to literates".

The Divisional Chief urged people in the area to resolve to achieve greater heights in the field of education.

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SFL encourages the use of Ghanaian languages as a means of teaching and learning while the graduates of the literacy programme enter the formal educational system after nine months of exposure. The programme also builds the self-consciousness and self-esteem of the beneficiary children, and also engenders receptiveness of education in the communities.

Dr Abubakr Al-Hassan, Chairman of the SFL said the programme was working to support the Ghana Education Service in carrying out its obligation to facilitate Education for All, the FCUBE programme and the Education Strategic Plan.

He noted that in an effort to fill some of the major educational gaps in the region, the SFL runs community-based functional literacy classes for children between eight and 14, who for various reasons had no access to formal schooling.

The sustainability of the SFL programme is being ensured through capacity building in beneficiary communities, influencing the formal school system, replication of the SFL methodology by other NGOs and advocacy activities.

Dr Al-Hassan said SFL had enrolled 8,933 children in rural communities in its 360 literacy classes last year.

He said currently 10,947 children had been enrolled in 440 classes with 42.6 per cent representing girls. About 19,880 enrolment have been targeted by the end of the year.

Source: GNA
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