The school came 19th out of the 20 districts in the Central Region, in the region’s ranking in the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE).
This abysmal performance of the Komenda Elmina Eguafo Abrem (KEEA) Municipality compelled the assembly to cough up GHC 30,000 to organise a municipal mock examination in 2017, as a way of improving on this performance but in spite of the effort by the assembly, last year’s result was worse off. This time the municipality took the 20th position.
Although many factors have been attributed to this, the key factor identified is the inability of children to read and and comprehend. It came to light also that most of the students in Junior High School (JHS) cannot even write their names, let alone being able to read the instructions on the question papers.
The situation, a Deputy Director, Planning and Statistics, KEEA Municipal Education Office, Mr Isaac Opoku-Nkoom, described as “worrying considering the strategic position of the municipality”.
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The welcoming news, however, is that there is hope to reverse the worse situation, as a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Connecting Kids Education Foundation (CKEF) based in the United States of America (USA), decided to come to the aid of the schools in the municipality by training teachers to improve on their pedagogy, as well as establish modern library facilities in the schools.
Connecting Kids Education Foundation (CKEF) is a growing and increasingly successful “not for profit” educational charity promoting improved literacy for children in some of Ghana’s poorest rural communities.
Addressing a three-day workshop organised by CKEF in Kissi Besease in the KEEA municipality on Thursday, February 28, 2019, Mr Opoku-Nkoom, wondered how a municipality endowed with human and natural resources should be found wanting in educational affairs.
“I don’t understand how a district which is strategically positioned with all resources should be underperforming in BECE examination”, he said.
He blamed parents for not taking issues on education seriously, adding that “a good number of the children fend for themselves, while majority of them go to school on an empty stomach”.
He said while most of the boys live on their own, a lot of the young girls are cohabiting, a situation he described as “unhealthy for academic work”.
Mr Opoku-Nkoom, said the KEEA in consultation with CKEF would embark on series of community sensitisation programme to educate parents on the importance of education on the nation’s socio-economic development.
“If care is not taken, in the next decade, our municipal will be depleted of human resource, a situation whose result will be catastrophic”, he said.
The Project Director of CKEF in Ghana Mrs Esther Obeng-Antwi Dankyi, said the organisation had always focused on supporting schools in rural communities to help bridge the gap between rural and city dwellers.
“Our approach is always to adopt a bottom up approach in our work in order to build a better future and ensure security for children yet unborn”, she said.
She said the organisation’s approach had been success sustainability based on being an enabler to others and also encourage a framework where children and teachers flourish.
The Ayensudo Circuit Supervisor of GES and coordinator for CKEF, Mr Gibson Ofori-Owusu, said majority of pupils in Antweem Kumase, where a similar project was undertaken some two years ago could now read and write and gave assurance that similar projects would be replicated in all schools in the municipality to improve education.