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General News of Monday, 7 April 2003

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No Formal Education For Many Children

Ms. Christine Churcher, Minister of State for Girl-Child Education, on Monday said records showed that there were still a large number of school-going children out of school and not receiving any formal education.
She said this record came from the National Gross Enrolment Ratio
(GER) for primary one to six which showed a 79.9 per cent of both sexes for the year 2000/2001. Ms. Churcher said this when she launched this year's Global
Education for All EFA, Action Week, under the theme; Promoting Girls Education, in Accra.
Activities lined up for the celebration include, Biggest lesson on the need to educate the girl child, a summit on girls education, Durbar, debate, roundtable discussion and radio programmes.
She said the education sector review of 2000 highlighted an even more disturbing trend which together calls for a collaborative and sustained efforts to remedy the situation. It showed that only 75 per cent of girls access the formal primary education and drops to 50 per cent in many of the districts in the Northern regions.
She said these figures fall drastically to only 20 per cent at the completion of Senior Secondary education.
She said despite Ghana's response to the global call for every citizen to be given equal opportunity to access education through the institution of Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education programme these available statistics show that there are still large numbers of school- going children out of school.
Ms. Churcher said a comparative analysis also shows that the gender disparity in education is widespread at all levels of education, whereas males at primary one to six have a GER of 83.7 per cent, girls of the same level have GER of 76.2 per cent.
Literacy rates for the year 2000, which were 80.3 per cent for males and 63.2 per cent for females, depict the same trend and confirm the lapses in the education system, she added.
Ms. Churcher acknowledged the need to strengthen and expand girls? education and related activities at all levels of Ghana Education Service, district, regional and national. She said there was also the need to identify sustained sources of support to reach national goals and targets in a bid to build momentum to eliminate gender disparities in the educational system in accordance with the education strategic plan for the period 2003-2015.
She appealed to the district assemblies, donor partners, NGOs, Civil society and parents to endeavour to actively support and participate in all activities related to the opening the doors of learning for girls.


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