248,556 out-of-school children benefit from CBE programme

Dr Mathew-Opoku-Prempeh, Minister of Education

Dr Mathew-Opoku-Prempeh, Minister of Education

A total of 248,556 out-of-school children have benefitted from the Complementary Basic Education (CBE) programme in the last five years.

Out of the total figure, 54.2 per cent were girls enrolled onto the CBE in the last academic year (2017/2018), the highest number ever recorded in the five-year programme which begun in 2013.

The programme which ends in November this year was targeted at offering about 200,000 children from ages four to 14 who had never been to school or dropped out, the opportunity to acquire basic literacy and numeracy skills within a period of nine months in their mother-tongues to facilitate their enrolment into the formal school system.

Mr. Charles Otto, the Head of Implementation at Crown Agents, a non-governmental organisation, made the disclosure in Accra yesterday during a progress review meeting held with implementing partners of the CBE.

According to him, 95 per cent of children who completed the nine-month module had successfully transitioned into the formal education system.

“Through CBE, these boys and girls have received quality primary education to compensate from missing out on classes one to three of primary school with significant improvements in the numeracy and literacy rates of these children,” he said.

Mr. Otto though acknowledging the positive impact of the programme in reducing the high number of school going children that are out of school, said that there still remained about 600,000 children identified across the country to be out of school.

He submitted that the problem was endemic in the three Northern regions where girls were mostly denied access to education due to poverty and existing socio-cultural practices.

“Communities having limited access to primary schools within a three to five kilometre radius, lack of trained teachers, poor supervision, unsustainable livelihood patterns among households remain factors leading to drop outs in these areas,” he added.

Mr. Otto recommended that government injects the use of mother-tongue in the delivery of education across the country to bridge existing gaps.

He asked that government take immediate steps to sustain the programme as it draws to an end in November, saying, “under the right conditions and inputs, the CBE will reduce the risk of drop out ensuring that a second chance education to successful completion of primary education of out-of-school children.”

The Minister of Education, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh in address said, the CBE programme was one of the many interventions government was using to address equity in quality educational access for all children of school going age especially, vulnerable groups.

He pledged the Ministry’s determination to ride on successes chalked in the implementation of the programme to improve education standards across the country.

“It is important to ensure the lessons learnt from the programme are taken on board to strengthen the formal school system where appropriate while we revise current policies to take into account issues around sustainable management of the programme,” he pledged.

The Country Director of the Department for International Development (DFID), Mr. Philip Smith was pleased that the CBE was recognised as part of the Education Sector Plan (2018-2030) and that, there were ongoing plans to support more children who had missed out on school to have the chance to do so.

“We are particularly pleased that this year has seen a twin approach with downstream implementing partners working with district authorities in 23 districts and Ghana Education Service implementing directly in 14 districts.”

“This is in line with Ghana’s commitment to move beyond aid and finance the education sector to enable every young child, boy and girl, to have access to education,” he opined.

By Abigail Annoh     


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