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Many girls in Bolgatanga Municipality drop out of school

2008-09-02 23:29:58
This article has been read 621 times.

Statistics available from the Municipal Directorate of Education in the Upper East Region indicates that, whilst for the past five years, enrolment figures of girls at the basic level is at par with boys, many of them drop out of school later. The performance of girls is also much lower than that of the boys at the basic levels.

The Bolgatanga Municipal Director of Education, Mr Anthony Aziabah, announced these in a speech read for him by Mr Cletus Apikiya, Director in charge of Finance and Administration of GES, at a durbar in Bolgatanga organized by Ghana Education Service (GES), with support from UNICEF on Social Mobilization for fast tracking Gender Equality in the Formal and Non-Formal Education.

The durbar, which brought together traditional authorities, church based organizations, community based organizations and non-governmental organizations, was aimed at soliciting views and strategizing on how to overcome the problem of gender disparity especially in schools. Mr Aziabah attributed the drop out of girls in schools to the denial of girls' rights, from the beginning of childhood and explained that when it came to the question of choice of educating a boy or a girl, the boy was given the preferential treatment. Mr Aziabah said when it comes to supplementing family income; girls were more likely to be sent to work.

"Even when girls do go to school, they would often have to do housework at the expense of homework and when they become pregnant, school policies force them to drop out," he said. The Municipal Director of Education advocated the need for district assemblies to secure the support of traditional authorities to campaign against early marriages and teenage pregnancy. He appealed to the GES to provide incentives to female teachers to accept posting to rural areas so that they could serve as role models to girls.

The Regional Director of Education, Mr Fabian Belieb, in his welcome address said government was committed to girls' education and that was why it had established the Girls Education Unit of the Ghana Education Service, which had led to the increasing enrolment figures of girls in schools.

He however admitted that it was not enough and appealed to all stakeholders in the education sector, especially parents to send all school going age children to school. The Chief of Yorogo, Naba Johnson Awuni, said there was more reward in sending girls to school instead of giving them out in marriage in exchange of cows. He said girls would contribute significantly to the development of families if they were made to go to school. He explained that educated girls would in future help reduce poverty, lower infant and maternal mortality, and improve health and nutrition in their communities. 2 Sept. 08

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