School for Life, an NGO, in partnership with Bridges Fund Partnerships, has enrolled 6,000 out-of-school children aged eight to 16 years in 10 districts in the Northern and Oti Regions under the Alternative Learning Programme (ALP) to equip them with basic literacy and numeracy skills.
The children are undergoing six months of classes, after which they will be able to enrol in the formal school system at the start of the 2023/2024 academic year. Of the 6,000 children, 3,000 are in the Nanton, Savelugu, Kumbungu, and Tolon Districts in the Northern Region, while the remaining 3,000 are in the Krachi East, Krachi West, Krachi Nchumuru, Nkwanta North, Nkwanta South, and Biakoye Districts in the Oti Region.
The project is part of the Ghana Education Outcome Project (GEOP) of the Ghana Accountability for Learning Outcomes Project (GALOP) initiated by the Ministry of Education, supported by the World Bank and the Education Outcomes Fund, to support out-of-school children in districts with the highest number of out-of-school children to transition into mainstream primary education.
Madam Wedad Sayibu, Director of School for Life, said that for the 2023/2024 academic year, 48% of the children were girls while 52% were boys. The children were grouped into classes of about 25, and given three to four hours of tuition per day at a time that was convenient for their communities.
Each child was provided with teaching and learning materials, including drawing pads, crayons, and pencils, among others, to aid their studies. The classes were led by facilitators who were volunteers from the communities where the classes were established, and the language of instruction was the mother tongue or play the language of the participating community.
Madam Sayibu said, “In the next four years (2023-2027), School for Life will offer an alternative learning program to 18,000 out-of-school children in the Northern and Oti Regions and transition them into mainstream schools whilst providing support for their retention in mainstream school.”
Mr Fuseini Salifu Issifu, Tolon District Chief Executive, expressed his appreciation of the project, stating that there were many out-of-school children in the district, and with the project, these children would catch up with their peers and soon join mainstream schools.
He urged community members, including chiefs and parents, to play their part in ensuring the success of the project by reminding the children to attend the classes.
Mr Alhassan Alidu Junior, Acting Northern Regional Director of Education, emphasized the importance of the project in ensuring that all school-going children were in school, advising beneficiary communities and parents to support the project by releasing their children to attend classes.