90 Schools Get UNICEF Support

NINETY public schools in the Savelugu-Nanton
Municipality of the Northern Region have
benefited from the Child Friendly School
(CFS) model aimed at improving educational
standards in the country.

The model, adopted in 2010 by the Ghana
Education Service (GES) and supported by the
United Nations Children’s Fund, (UNICEF),
was to ensure that the principles of the
Convention on the Rights of the Child were
enacted in education.

It was also to improve student learning and
equitable educational outcomes for all
children, teachers, schools and communities
as well as help Ghana achieve the Millennium
Development Goals (MDGs) and education for
all.

An assessment tour to some of the
beneficiary schools within the 149
communities in the municipality by UNICEF
officials and the media, revealed an all-
inclusive learning as a result of the cleaner,
safer and more conducive learning
environment created through the CFS
concept.
UNICEF Education Officer, Timoah Kunchira
said due to the introduction of dimensions
such as effective teaching and learning, health
promotion, gender sensitive school and
community engaged schools in the CFS
model, more children were now getting
enrolled in schools.

At the Tarikpaa Early Childhood Development
Centre, Mary Gyambedu, Kindergarten one
teacher said there has been an increment in
the attendance of pupils since the start of
the CFS.

She said the parents—mostly farmers—were
beginning to show commitment to their
children’s education.
“At first we had to go to the communities to
gather the children, but with the introduction
of the CFS model, the children themselves
are coming to school,” she said.

The classrooms of Tarikpaa D/A Primary
School, was however congested as a result of
high enrolment with some pupils not having
adequate learning materials.

The pupils, numbered from 50 to 70 in a
class with three children sharing a double
desk and a book. Ventilation and
concentration was also low and majority of
the children at the back of the classroom
could not see clearly what was written on the
chalk board.

Enoch Abukari, a primary three teacher,
commended government and UNICEF for
their efforts at getting the children to the
classroom but urged donor partners and
parents to do more to make the classrooms
more conducive for the children to learn
better.

The Municipal Director of Education, Joseph
Kodjo Kumah expressed his gratitude to
UNICEF for their contribution towards the
improvement of education in the
municipality, which reflected in the children’s
performance.
“UNICEF has provided training for the heads
of the school, and the Parent Teacher
Association (PTA) on the effective
management of the school, they have also
improved on the health status of the children
with the provision of hand cleaning containers
and their deworming campaign,” he said.

The municipal director of education said
government had provided additional desks
and learning materials to cater for the
increasing number of students in the school.

He also assured the people of the
regularization of the school feeding
programme and free uniforms and urged
donor communities to continue with their
support so more children could get enrolled
in schools.

From Jamila Akweley Okertchiri, Tamale
Daily Guide.

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