Media urged to increase advocacy on girls’ retention in school

Tamale- Media practitioners have been urged to up reportage on girls’ education and advocate for removal of barriers militating against their performance and retention in schools.

This is against the backdrop that in spite of increased support for girls to ensure they do not lack basic needs whilst they were in school, their performance continued to be poor whilst others dropped out of school due to challenges.

Some of the problems identified to be militating against girls’ education were teenage pregnancies, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and increased use for children for menial jobs after and during school hours.

The call was made at a media partnership meeting organized by the Campaign for Female Education (Camfed Ghana) in Tamale for media persons drawn from the Upper East, Upper West and Northern Regions.

The objective was to make journalists have deeper understanding of activities of Camfed and the contribution of the organization towards girls’ education, and empowerment as well as discuss ways to advance activities of Camfed.

Ms Rashida Iddrisah, Senior Programmes Office, said in spite of the numerous support for young girls in schools, general performance in the Upper East Region, Upper West Region and the Northern regions were still low.

Ms Iddrisah who is a member of CAMA, an alumnae of girls who have been supported by Camfed, indicated she and her colleagues were united to invest the benefit of their education into their communities, and called for behavioral change in communities and increased collaboration by Education committees, Parent Support Groups and stakeholders who have been in partnership for progress of girls’ education to help change the trends.

Mr Samuel Asare-Danquah, Monitoring and Evaluation Manager, at CAMFED, shared a research commissioned by DFID under the programme for extending support to girls in schools, implemented by Camfed on the impact of girls’ education clubs and retention, in 12 Junior High Schools in Camfed supported schools, with facilitators from the Girls Unit of the Ghana Education Service and some non Camfed regions, said girls in primary and kindergarten were more and when they progressed to higher levels the numbers reduced, hence the selection of some junior high schools for the research.

He highlighted on effectiveness of girls clubs in schools as part of the findings and noted that girls clubs in schools had the ability to build self- confidence and sense of solidarity because those who remained in school were able to translate that as motivators for others to remain in school.

He said through interaction and as peers by the nature of the structured programmes with facilitators and guidance and counselling activities, girls built their confidence levels and noted that highly functional girls clubs had positive impact in developing a sense and collective confidence in girls who in turn served as support systems for their peers.

Mr John Assibi Ali, National Director, Camfed Ghana, indicated that CAMA which operated in 31 districts across the three Regions in the north, on intervention support for young girls and women, to be equipped and to become economically independent to achieve their full potentials.

He said CAMA had 23,000 members whose role was to advocate for breakdown of barriers affecting girls in school and added that his outfit provided support to about 40,000 children to be enrolled in primary and senior high schools.

Source: Ghana News Agency