Low enrolment of girls in Upper West schools worrying—–Educationist

The Girl-child Education Unit Officer of the Upper West Regional Directorate of the Ghana Education Service, Ms Anacleta Viiru has lamented, the poor performance of girls at the primary, junior and senior high school levels.

“The girls are not performing in school at all and at the end become school dropouts or victims of teenage pregnancies while others become house helps or young brides,” she stated.

She indicated that, there was no corresponding participation of girls at the kindergarten and the lower primary as compared to that of those of the upper primary and above.

Ms Viiru stated these at a stakeholders’ engagement forum to discuss issues affecting quality education in the region at Wa on Friday.

The forum which was organised by the Ghana Education Service in conjunction with the Upper West Regional Coordinating Council brought together important personalities such as heads of departments, religious leaders, teachers, politicians and other stakeholders in education.

“There are more girls enrolled in the kindergarten and lower primary than the boys but the number of them keeps dropping at the upper primary and secondary level as they turn into adolescents,” she stressed.

Ms Viiru observed also that some parents who had children with special needs did not give them the necessary attention when it came to education.

She said such children were kept away from public and other social activities, by parents because of societal stigmatisation, adding that, disability was not inability and parents must not deny children with special needs their right to education.

“Government however has a role to play by implementing an all-inclusive education policy in public schools for children in deprived areas to have access to education,” Ms Viiru indicated.

She also cautioned male teachers in the region against engaging female students in needless sexual relationships but rather focus on their main objective of imparting knowledge.

The Regional Minister, Dr. Hafiz Bin Salih, for his part said, policy initiatives of government would not be successful if stakeholders who were the implementing agents did not play their role well and therefore called for a comprehensive stakeholders engagement.

Dr Hafiz indicated that, lack of effective supervision, inadequate parental care, attitude of students, lack of motivation for teachers and inadequate social amenities to entice teachers to stay and work in remote communities were all factors leading to the poor performance of students at the primary and secondary levels.

“It is unimaginable that performance of students keeps falling in the last 20 years despite the fact that a lot of resources are continuously being invested into the education sector. As a region, what we need from our circuit supervisors, head teachers and teachers is commitment to work so that we improve upon the performance of the students,” he said.

He therefore urged the Regional Directorate of the Ghana Education Service to strictly supervise head teachers and teachers to ensure conformity with the norms of teaching and learning as prescribed by the tenets of GES. 

FROM LYDIA FORDJOUR AND RAFIA ABDUL-RAZAK, WA

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