Unlimited access to education at basic level in Ghana - UNESCO 2019 GEM Report
The new 2019 Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report by UNESCO has said there is unlimited access to education at the basic level for all migrants in Ghana
said the status of migrants, whether documented or undocumented played no role when it came to accessing schools.
“In addition, new research from Ghana commissioned for the 2019 GEM Report shows that some schools are making efforts to help migrants feel included, including organizing special classes and orientation days, using seating arrangements to help migrant students with language challenges, and hiring teacher migrants to help represent diverse classrooms,” The GEM Report entitled Building Bridges Not Walls, said.
It highlights countries’ achievements and shortcomings in ensuring the right of migrant and refugee children to benefit from quality education, a right that serves the interests of both learners and the communities they live in.
Released on International Children’s Day, it draws attention to the lack of support for migrants in schools in Ghana.
But challenges remain
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GEM Report research cited the lack of policy documents guiding migrant education in Ghana, saying that major policy documents guiding education in Ghana were all silent on how migrants should be managed within the educational system, leaving it to the discretion of schools and teachers.
The Director of the GEM Report, Manos , said: “Countries are underestimating the education needs of children on the move. Ghana has made impressive efforts to protect the right of migrants to education. But schools must reflect cultural differences and teacher training needs to be improved so that any child can feel at home in the classroom. Education planning must fully respond to migrants’needs, including the linguistic challenges they face.
”A new survey carried out in Ghana among migrant children and youth, and teachers for the Report showed that, albeit with some exceptions, most schools have no support system to help migrants overcome barriers to full inclusion.
It said there were no introductory classes to ease migrants into the school system and placement examinations were administered only in the English language.
“All migrants whether late arrivals into Ghana or not were made to write placement exams the first day and assigned a class. School heads said many migrants ended up placed in grades lower than age appropriate as a result. Across those interviewed, migrants were at least two years older on average than other children in the class.
The Report called for the country to train teachers on managing multilingual and multi-cultural classrooms, and to confront stereotypes that teachers might be in the school-ground.
It called for the government to work to understand and plan to meet the needs of migrants, especially the linguistic challenges they may face.