Stakeholders in the education sector have called for the need to put in place efficient measures to address various underlying challenges confronting young girls’ education in the country.
They said to increase girls’ enrolments and retention in schools, institutional reform and girl-centred policies were needed in the education sector to address problems that hindered their progress in education, especially at the pre-tertiary level.
“Educating our girls is key to building the nation, so it is appropriate that we have broader engagements to devise mechanisms that would help to resolve challenges such as teenage pregnancies, poverty and other sociocultural and economic challenges that affect their enrolments and retention in schools”, they asserted.
They made the call at a regional stakeholders’ forum on girls’ education, organised by School for Life (SfL), a non-governmental organisation (NGO), in Tamale on Thursday.
The forum aimed at discussing efforts, activities and programmes needed to achieve gender parity in education, and formed part of the SfL’s “Empowerment for Life Programme”, being supported by CISU through Ghana Friends, a Danish organisation and Akoma, a Spanish NGO.
It was held on the theme: “Achieving gender parity in education: Girl’s Enrolment, Retention and the Re-entry Policy for Pregnant School Girls and Young Mothers”, and brought together NGOs working to promote education, officials from the Ghana Education Service (GES), School Management Committees (SMCs), among others.
The Programme Director of SfL, Wedad Sayibu said various policies focused on retaining girls in school such as the re-entry policy for pregnant school girls and young mothers instituted by the GES was a laudable initiative but were saddled with some challenges which needed to be addressed to ensure it success. She noted that “We have good policies to increase girls enrolments in schools but their implementations are always a challenge, and I believe a multi-sectorial collaborations on a top-down approach will be key for us to ascertain the pertinent issues on grounds that contribute to such challenges”.
That, she added, would inform policy reforms on promoting girl-child education, especially at the pre-tertiary level to help increase their enrolments and retention in schools.
For his part, the Executive Director of Net Organisation for Youth Empowerment and Development (NOYED-GHANA), Alhassan Abdulai Iddi emphasized the need for authorities to deepen the public sensitisation on the national policy and guidelines for school re-entry for pregnant girls and young mothers to keep them informed on the need to go back to school to continue their education after child delivery.
The Coordinator for Northern Network for Education Development (NNED), Gaskin Dassah also advised parents and guardians to prioritize their young girls’ education and ensure they provided them their needs.
That, he said, would help sustain the girls’ interest in school and build their confidence and equip them with the skills required to make better judgement and decisions which would empower them to become agents of change in society.