Agnes Sakyi-Djan, Headmistress of Donkorkrom Presby School, serving the children with a cup of milo and bread
Agnes Sakyi-Djan, Headmistress of Donkorkrom Presby School, serving the children with a cup of milo and bread
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Retention of pupils: Donkorkrom Presby School introduces hot cocoa breakfast

The Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and School Management Committee (SMC) of the Donkorkrom Presby School have introduced one hot cocoa breakfast a day for its preschool children.

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The initiative seeks to encourage enrolment and retention of the pupils in school at that level in the Kwahu Afram Plains North District. It is also to ensure that the children report to school early to enjoy the meal before the commencement of classes.

The PTA and the SMC introduced the intervention after going through a capacity-building programme under the Community of Excellence Programme (CEP) on their role and responsibilities towards the effective and efficient running of the school within their locality.

Under the initiative, all the 60 pupils of Kindergarten One and Two will be fed cocoa drink with bread as breakfast. The CEP is a two-year programme being undertaken by UNICEF Ghana with funding from the Jacobs Foundation from Zurich, Switzerland, and implemented by the Ghana Education Service (GES).

It is being implemented in the Kwahu Afram Plains North District and the Builsa North Municipality in the Upper East Region and it seeks to promote quality education for every child.

Under the programme, the foundation, through UNICEF, supported the capacity training for 390 SMC and PTA executive and selected members to become aware of their roles and responsibilities in the running of schools in their communities.

The capacity training empowered the SMC and the PTA to ensure that teachers in their schools are teaching, there was adequate school infrastructure, and the school feeding programme was running, among others. 

Implementation

Briefing journalists, the Communications Specialist of UNICEF, Evelyn Offeibea Baddoo, explained that the foundation promoted quality education and was currently financing projects in Ghana, Ivory Coast, and Colombia in Latin America.

The aim is to engage, train and work with all key education stakeholders in both districts. The project undertakes over 40 different activities in the two districts. Mrs Baddoo said UNICEF Ghana in 2022 received a $2.3 million funding from the foundation to promote quality education for everyone.

"Further, the Jacobs Foundation believes that quality education can only be achieved if education policy and practice are supported by evidence of what works best for children," she explained.

The project started in June last year and will end in November this year. In both districts, all basic schools, including head teachers and some selected staff, participate in the project.

Additionally, all SMC, PTA and the District Education Oversight Committee are part of the project. 

Benefit of project

The Headmistress of the school, Agnes Sakyi-Djan, expressed delight that the programme had led not only to an increase in enrolment, but early reporting to school. She said there was hardly cases of absenteeism, adding that even when a pupil was sick, he or she still insisted on reporting for school.

Mrs Sakyi-Djan expressed gratitude to UNICEF for the training for teachers, PTA and SMC executives and the pupils, which enabled them to appreciate better their respective roles in the running of the school.

She was hopeful that the programme would be expanded to cover the lower primary, saying that such a move would help the pupils because most of them did not eat breakfast before coming to school.

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