Government places a high premium on the education of the girl-child and will continue to encourage Ghana’s development partners to continue to support any initiative in that direction, Mrs Kate Agyemang Badu, Ashanti Regional Director of Education, has stated.
Mrs Agyemang Badu noted that no matter the good intentions of government, it could not solve all the challenges militating against quality education delivery in the country without the support of other stakeholders.
She, therefore, commended the Campaign for Female Education, Ghana (Camfed Ghana)—a British-based non-profit organization dedicated to eradicating poverty in Africa through the education of girls and the empowerment of young women—for its interventions that have filled the gaps in Ghana’s education system.
The Ashanti Regional Director of Education was delivering the keynote address at the opening of the maiden Leadership and Enrichment Camp at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, on Friday.
Eight hundred and sixty (860) beneficiaries of the MasterCard Foundation Scholars’ Program from secondary and tertiary institutions in Ghana are participating in the eight-day programme on the theme: ‘Raising Leaders for the Next Generation’.
The Leadership and Enrichment Camp, which is being organised by Camfed Ghana, is intended to provide a platform for the participants to harness their unique leadership potential.
The Camp also provides a unique opportunity for interaction and mentoring between and among role models and the participants.
The Camp will also serve as a learning platform for the participants to gain a deeper understanding of issues around community leadership, service and give-back which are imperative to the success of The MasterCard Foundation Scholars’ Program.
Activities planned for the Camp include discussions on community give-back, goal-setting, role-modelling sessions and hands-on personal community leadership activities.
The others are problem-solving skills acquisition, time with the Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana on nutritional issues, brush-up Maths and English sessions and time with the Right To Play, a Non-Governmental Organization.
In a welcome address, the Executive Director of Camfed Ghana, Mrs Delores Dickson, noted that lack of leadership had often been cited as a major factor militating against socio-economic development in Africa.
Mrs Dickson said the objective of the Camp was, therefore, to empower the participants for leadership in Africa and to become agents of change in their communities.
She said the expectation was that proceedings at the Camp would contribute significantly to preparing the next generation of law and policy makers, traditional, community, business and political leaders who could make meaningful contributions to the socio-economic development of Ghana, in particular, and Africa, as a whole.
In her remarks, Mrs Emma Amoateng Mensah, Regional Co-ordinator, Girls Education Unit of the Ghana Education Service, disclosed that enrolment and retention in schools as well as the performance of girls were improving as evidenced by the number of girls gaining admission into the universities and pursuing courses like medicine and other courses perceived to be the preserve of boys.
Mrs Amoateng Mensah said research had shown that the increased level of
enrolment, retention and enhanced performance levels were attributable to interventions such as scholarship schemes for girls and the Girls Camp initiative.
She advised the girls not to be distracted by boys, television watching and reading newspapers that were not educative, but to focus on and pursue their education to the highest level.
She further urged them to seek advice, when faced with difficult challenges, from their parents, teacher mentors.
For her part, Mrs Augustine Gyamfi, Regional Director, Department of Gender, Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, called on the girls to count themselves blessed for having been selected to benefit from the programme.
Mrs Gyamfi advised them to be disciplined in order to become effective leaders.
Dr Marciana Kuusaana, Lecturer, KNUST, also called on the girls to count themselves privileged and not to allow men to deflower them.
Mrs Agnes Nanor, Gilrs Officer, Asokore Mampong Municipal Education Office, reiterated the call on the girls not to be distracted, but to focus on their education while Mad Ida Saeed, Senior Assistant Registrar, KNUST, urged the girls to work hard to obtain university education.
Dr Gyikua Plange-Rhule, Mother and Baby Unit, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), described the girls as children with bright futures and cautioned them against early sex in order to prevent cervical cancer—a sexually-transmitted disease caused by indulgence in sexual activity at an early stage.
Camfed Ghana has a ten-year partnership with The MasterCard Foundation under the aegis of The MasterCard Foundation Scholars’ Program.
The MasterCard Foundation is an independent, global organisation established in 2006 and based in Toronto, Canada.
The Foundation’s programs promote financial inclusion and advance youth learning, mostly in Africa and are create opportunities for all people to learn and prosper, through collaboration with partner organizations in 46 countries.
The partnership between Camfed and The MasterCard Foundation is, therefore, underpinned by shared values and commitment to the provision of quality education and comprehensive support to academically-gifted young women in deprived communities in the Northern, Upper East, Upper West and the Central regions of Ghana.
Thus the Scholars Program is designed to unlock the potential of a critical mass of academically-bright but disadvantaged girls and young women from rural Ghana through secondary and tertiary education, enrichment and service leadership opportunities.
Its goal is to contribute towards raising social, political and business leaders for the African continent— and the Leadership and Enrichment Camp 2014, therefore, comes as part of the Scholars’ Program.
Source: ISD (G.D. Zaney)