The United Nations Children’s Fund and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) in partnership with the Girls unit of the Ghana Education Service (GES) have organised a Girls Camp in Kpandai and Krachie East districts of the Northern and Volta regions respectively.
The move is part of the ‘Better Life for Girls’ (BLG) programme led by the government of Ghana and supported by the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and UNICEF.
The ‘Better Life for Girls’ (BLG) is a three-year program running from 2017 to 2020 which aims to provide adolescent girls in Ghana with knowledge, skills, and an enabling environment to make informed decisions on issues affecting them and to help them reach their full potential.
The program works to enable more adolescent girls in Northern and Volta region access current and new opportunities for learning and development of life and employment skills.
The concept of the Girls Camp is to help address the challenges associated with retention of girls in school and assist girls especially those from disadvantaged communities to catch up with lessons as they prepare to write their final exams.
It is also aimed at empowering girls with knowledge and skills to develop their self-esteem and assertiveness and to contribute to making informed decisions that affect their futures positivity.
Additionally, the camp according to a statement released by UNICEF, creates the platform for some basic grooming, life skills and entrepreneurial skills to be acquired. At the comp the girls are mentored towards building upon their potentials and boosting their aspirations through role model interaction.
A recent scoping study by Plaskett, 2017; Ampah-Mensah and Agbevanu, 2018, on ‘Barriers to Junior High School Completion in Kpandai and Krachi East’ identified that poor performance, lack of self-esteem skills, teenage pregnancy, lack of role models and inadequate learning materials as some factors that contribute immensely to girls’ school drop-out.
The activities therefore included organising talks on selected topical issues for the girls which includes personal and menstrual hygiene management, study skills and study habits, child rights and responsibilities, proper hygiene and sexual reproductive health and career counselling.
According to UNICEF, over the past years, the Girls Education unit of the Ghana Education Service has made progress in promoting girls education in the country however girls still lag when it comes to learning and school completion.
UNICEF again revealed that the presence of female teachers plays a significant role in the performance and aspirations of their students.
Participants of the Girls Camp were therefore exposed to tutorial in basic Science, Mathematics and English using participatory approaches. There was a role model interaction forum to enable girls learn and share experiences.
A total number of 320 female students were drawn from the two districts. The allocation for Krachi East Municipal and Kpandai District were 140 and 180 respectively. A total of 66 chaperones accompanied the girls.