The Third National forum for Girls’ Education Officers across the country, has opened in Accra with a call on parents to invest more in girl-child education.
The Deputy Director-General of the Ghana Education Service, Mr. Stephen Adu, who made the call yesterday, emphasised the need for girl-child education to be treated with utmost importance as it contributed immensely to socio-economic development.
He said investment for girl-child education should cut across financial, spiritual, emotional and mental supports, to enable girls to become successful and compete with their male counterparts.
Mr. Adu was speaking on the forum’s theme “Promoting retention, performance and achievements: the role of stakeholders in education”.
The two-day conference was a collaborative effort of Campaign for Female Education (Camfed) and the Girls’ Education Unit of the Ghana Education Service (GES) with the aim to help expand educational opportunities for girls through advocacy and the provision of financial and other support.
Participants were taken through key activities including agenda setting, presentations on topical issues relating to women, and sectional meetings to discuss how best to help enhance retention of girls in basic and secondary schools.
According to Mr. Adu, government had over the years introduced social interventions, including the distributions of free sanitary pads, sandals, food, bicycles and school uniforms to help retain girls in school but parents also have a greater responsibility to support such a cause because their wards spend much time with them.
He said the government’s effort to promote girls’ education would prove futile, if parents and teachers fail to play their roles effectively.
Mr. Adu observed that girls were mostly harassed sexually by their teachers and abused verbally by their female teachers which he challenged the officers to guard against.
The executive director of Camfed Ghana, Mrs. Dolores Dickson, threw more light on a research conducted on girls’ club and retention in junior high schools (JHS) in four districts in Eastern, Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions to, assess the effectiveness of girls’ clubs in achieving positive outcomes regarding the retention of girls in JHS.
According to her, the research found out that most girls’ clubs served as a necessary tool to help build girls’ self esteem, confidence and sense of collective solidarity to help retain girls in school.
By Charles Amankwa and Emma Wiafe