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Camp for girls from deprived schools in Upper East

2009-08-26 12:01:33
This article has been read 616 times.

Action Aid Ghana (AAG), a non-governmental organization, in collaboration with the Upper East Regional Girls Education Unit of the Ghana Education Service, is organizing a five-day Regional Girls Camp for 120 girls from deprived schools in the region.

The camp, which is underway in Bolgatanga, has attracted girls from Junior High and Senior High schools and is aimed at empowering girls to develop interest in schooling, building their self esteem and the desire to aspire to high levels in education.

It is also to expose the girls to female role models, carrier potentials, information communication technology and information that would strengthen their capacity to confront abuse and stand for their rights.

The Senior Programme Officer of AAG, Mr. Sulemana Alhassan, said AAG worldwide recognized education as a key to eradicating poverty.

For that matter for the past 20 years of its existence in Ghana AAG had supported education delivery through the provision of infrastructure.

He said despite the numerous interventions put up by government and civil society organizations to ensure education for all especially girls, Ghana missed achieving the gender parity target of the Millennium Development Goals in 2005.

Mr. Alhassan said although there had been improvement in gender parity index in the last few years, girls’ enrolment and retention in school continued to be low in many deprived communities in the region.

He said one of the main reasons for the low girl school attendance was unsafe environment.

He said a 2004 research conducted by AAG in 12 countries including Ghana identified unsafe school environment including poor school infrastructure and poor sanitary conditions as the main reasons for the low school attendance and poor performance.

“Many girls find it uncomfortable in schools where there are no places to urinate and free themselves especially when they are in their menstrual periods and this discourages them from attending school,” Mr Alhassan said.

He said gender based violence in some schools discouraged many girls from attending school and that the camp would empower the girls to meet such challenges.

The Upper East Deputy Regional Minister, Mrs Lucy Awuni, commended AAG for organizing the camp and said it would help occupy the school children and prevent them from migrating to the southern parts during vacation to search for menial jobs.

She said government was committed to building more school infrastructure, rehabilitating the older and weaker school buildings and providing all schools with both urinal and toilet facilities.


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