Most parents in the Bunkpurugu-Yunyoo District of the Northern Region prefer training their children to take up farming rather than sending them to school, Mr Justin Darkorah, District Director of Education said on Monday.
He noted that the habit of parents withdrawing their children from school for farming activities or for other reasons was crippling the District’s quest of enrolling all children of school going.
The District’s plan was in line with the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) two, which focuses on achieving universal primary education by 2015.
In 2008 Ghana achieved the target of 88 per cent and it was envisaged that by 2015 the country would have met the national percentage of 100 per cent.
The aim of the MDGs is to encourage development by improving social and economic conditions in the world’s poorest countries.
Mr Darkorah made this know at an educational forum dubbed: “Education in Bunkpurugu-Yunyoo District-Where Stakeholders are Needed.”
The forum was organised by the District Education Directorate, the District Assembly and the Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV) with funding from Camfed, an international development organisation.
It brought together stakeholders in education to discuss and develop efficient and effective measures to improve education in the areas of pupil retention, quality tuition and improving educational infrastructure in the District.
Mr Darkorah said the District with nine educational circuits recorded a drop-out of 111 at the Kindergarten, 325 at the Primary and 166 at the Junior High School levels in 2010/2011 academic year.
He said the District, which was carved out of the then East Mamprusi District in 2005, was one of the most deprived in the Northern Region with many challenges confronting the educational sector including bad roads, conflict, lack of parental care, lack of girl child role models at the community level, teenage pregnancy, inadequate staffing and the lack of potable water.
Mr Darkorah stressed that due to poverty, many of the indigenes did not aspire for higher educational laurels, while many others migrate to the south in search of non existing jobs.
He said although the standard of education in the District was still low, the Education Directorate in collaboration with the Assembly and non-governmental organisations were working assiduously to improve upon the situation.
“Some of our measures to improve education includes embarking on a vigorous enrolment drive and retention of children in school, sensitisation of all stakeholders especially parents and chiefs to realise the importance of education and making teaching and learning attractive”, he said.
Mr Darkorah said his outfit was working to improve monitoring, introduction of reading and spelling as well as organising district terminal examination to help improve the performance of the Basic Education Certificate Examination in the area.
Mr Mohammed Sachibu, Education Adviser of SNV Ghana said the support of his outfit for education development was founded on an inventory of the education sector in District in February 2007 by SNV, UNICEF and the World Food Programme.
He said after a review of the implementation of three capacity support interventions on teachers’ retreat and education management information systems, a first point analyses revealed the need to up-scale and intensify those interventions.
A second point analysis revealed the need for educational stakeholders in the District to ensure synergy in the implementation of the interventions and to mobilise the needed material and financial resources to support the implementation of other quality education activities and programmes.