Ghana close to gender parity at SHS level

Ghana is on the verge of attaining gender parity between boys and girls at the Senior High School (SHS) level in the country with the attainment of a Gender Parity Index (GPI) of 0.99 in 2020/21.

The Education Minister, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, who announced this explained that this would mean that the number of girls in SHS in the country would be equal to that of boys as against the previous whereby boys dominated at all levels of education in the country.

This meant that the nation needed only just point one to attain parity (meaning for every 200 students in a school, boys were 101 while girls were 99) as of now.

Dr Adutwum announced this when he visited some selected SHS in the Greater Accra and Eastern regions on Sunday.

The Minister’s trip took him to Presbyterian Boys Senior High School at Legon, Aburi Girls and Adonten SHS and was aimed at ascertaining the state of food supply in the schools.

Data from the Free Senior High School (FSHS) secretariat indicates that the Gender Parity Index (GPI) between boys and girls was 0.93 in 2015/16, 0.96 in 2016/17, 0.92 in 2017/18, 0.94 in 2018/19, 0.96 in 2019/20 and 0.99 in 2020/21.

He said although the gender parity development was a piece of welcoming news in the country that to him was not enough as the government was working very hard to ensure an increase in the number of girls pursuing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) related courses.

The Education Minister indicated that the nation’s gender parity feat chalked was made possible through the instrumentality of the introduction of the FSHS initiative which has created the opportunity for many girls to have access to SHS education unlike in the past whereby some parents chose boys to go to school due to certain cultural and other factors.

“Gender parity is very critical in the development of every country. Girls should attain the same right to education as girls and now we are looking at their parity within certain professions. The Free Senior High School policy has brought much improvement in an effort at bridging the gap between boys and girls. He said.

Again he stated that “apart from access there is the need for social equity hence the need to ensure gender parity,” Dr Adutwum said.

The Education Minister mentioned that apart from gender parity leading to an increasingly educated workforce, it also helps in lifting women in society as to what to do as a nation.

He said the government has put in place prudent measures to ensure that more girl’s schools were established, adding that apart from the Bosomtwe Girls STEM High School which has become operational this academic year, the construction of other girls’ schools will start soon at Kpone Katamanso in the Eastern Region and Danyame in the Ashanti Region.


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