UNICEF initiates interventions to assist Wa East schools

BY: Emmanuel Modey
 Alhaji Sulemana Alhassan (right), delivering his address
Alhaji Sulemana Alhassan (right), delivering his address

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has initiated various interventions to assist schools in the  Wa-East District in the Upper West Region (UWR) to uplift their academic standards.

These include capacity-building programmes for the headteachers, teaching staff and school prefects; reading materials, logistics and equipment to the district and support to boost female enrolment in schools in the district.

According to the Regional Director of Education, Mr Evans Kpebah, “they have also resourced the Schools Management Committees (SMCs), Parent/Teacher Associations (PTAs), Circuit Supervisors, representatives of both the District Education Directorate, School Performance Appraisal Meetings (SPAMs) and the district assembly to enhance effective community participation in education.”

Mr Kpebah disclosed this when he briefed the second meeting of the Regional Coordinating Council on programmes put in place to address the fallen standards of education in the region at Wa last Thursday.

The meeting was attended by the various officials of the municipal/district assemblies, heads of department, civil society organisations (CSOs) and the UWR House of Chiefs (UWRHC).

Academic performance

Through the efforts of UNICEF, the district had been able to leap from the last but one position with 23 per cent pass among schools in the 11 municipal and district assemblies in the region, in the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) on the league table in 2014, to the first position this year.

Also, the district, which presented a total of 804 students at the BECE in 2018, was the only district in the region that obtained 84 per cent pass, while the remaining basic schools in the municipal and district assemblies in the region, had below 50 per cent pass.

Performance of students in the West African Senior Schools Certificate Examination (WASSCE), he said, was still low, as none of the 8,270 candidates who were presented for the WASSCE in 2018 in the region, scored grade A or B in the three core subjects, namely English Language, Mathematics and Science.

The UWR Minister, Alhaji Sulemana Alhassan, paid glowing tribute to UNICEF for the immense contribution to improve education in the rural areas and was hopeful they would extend the same to other parts of the region.

Free SHS

On the free Senior High School (SHS) policy, he asked parents to monitor their children well while at home during the holidays under the current double-track system.

On security, he commended the security agencies and Regional Security Council (REGSEC) for ensuring relative calm and mentioned that the Regional Peace Council had been inaugurated.

At the meeting, the Upper West Regional Vice-President of the Regional House of Chiefs, Naa Dikomwine Domalae, said although they had settled the few chieftaincy cases that erupted in the region, they needed more resources and support for their activities.