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General News of Monday, 3 September 2018

Source: Myjoyonline.com

‘The Launch Pad' to correct late school enrollment crisis

Over 629,000 over and under-aged children are sitting in kindergarten classrooms across the country, the Education Ministry has said.

In the latest study by the Ministry on right age of enrollment, it was found that school authorities put over-aged children in kindergarten causing among others, unnecessary congestion.

According to the study, in some schools, seven-year-olds sit in the same class with four-year-olds which leads to a difficulty in instruction.

This is part of Joy News’ buildup to our upcoming hotline Documentary, ‘The Launch Pad' which is an aspect of a month-long campaign titled Enroll Me Now!

Ghana’s education policy says at age four, a child should be in kindergarten, however, according to the Ministry's 2016/2017 Education Management Information System, there are more than 600,000 children aged between six to 11, who sit in the KG classrooms while over 350,000 are not in school at all.

The Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions have the highest over and under-aged children with the least in the Upper Western region.

In these schools, children as old as seven, eight, 10 and 13 are grouped together with those between four and five years in the same class.

One of the headmaster’s interviewed explained that the rationale for the action of the headteachers is to ensure the over-aged children don’t miss out on the fundamentals they should have had at age 4.

Millicent Gbogbo, a KG '2' teacher at the Ningo Presby 'B' Basic School, told Joy News Emefa Atiamoah-Eli that teaching over-aged children is very difficult.

She said to enable every child to be on the same page, the late starters who are found in Kindergartens are allowed to occupy the limited space meant for those aged four.

This means the possibility of some of those at the right age being left out of the classroom due to lack of space, is high.

It also means instead of perhaps learning upper-class syllabi, the over-aged children are made to learn lower class syllabi to make up for the basics they didn’t get.

Throughout September, catch 'The Launch Pad' documentary on all platforms including radio, TV and online as we promote right age enrollment in school.