|50 Female BECE Graduates Get Scholarships|
|Thursday, 07 June 2012 10:57|
The World Food Programme (WFP), in collaboration with the Ghana Education Service (GES), has presented scholarships to 50 selected Basic Education Certificate Examinations (BECE) female graduates in the Northern Region to support them in their senior high school education.
The beneficiaries were students who excelled in the 2011 BECE and were each given GH¢500, a certificate, a parcel of books and a hamper. Addressing participants during the ceremony, the Country Director of WFP, Mr Ismail Omer, said the scholarship scheme, which was instituted in 2001 to motivate girls to continue their education to the senior high school level, had helped to achieve gender parity in the Upper West and Upper East regions. That, he said, explained why the beneficiaries were selected from only the Northern Region.
He said beneficiaries of the scholarship were usually selected from WFP assisted schools, adding that 269 had benefitted so far from the scheme since its inception.
He said the upper part of the Volta Region had also been included in this year’s WFP food take home ration programme for girls and about 30,000 girls from the Volta and Northern regions.
Mr Omer said his organization was supporting various government institutions to assist over 45,000 people in Ghana this year with more than half of the figure being women and girls.
“We have some interventions specifically geared towards women such as support to the Ghana Health Service to provide nutritious food supplements to 60,000 pregnant women, nursing mothers and young children”, he stated.
“We have also provided support to 4,300 women in 130 women’s groups to engage in income generating activities which include retailing iodised salt, milling and fortifying local cereals and breeding small ruminants for sale”, he added.
He said all these efforts were geared towards increasing rural women’s income and consequently, the nutritional status, food security and well-being of the entire family.
The Deputy Minister of Women and Children’s Affairs, Hajia Hawawu Gariba, said society must share the responsibility of creating favourable environments for the girl-child to enable her compete with her male counterpart.
She said failure to do that would only perpetuate the retrogressive factors of illiteracy, ignorance, economic deprivation and inferiority complex that hindered the nation’s progress.
“The 2008 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey revealed that 65 per cent of women in the Northern Region have no form of formal education and 74 per cent of women had never attended school and those who had attended only primary and junior high school cannot read at all” , she further observed.
She said the statistics showed that more needed to be done in the Northern Region in particular to enable the region attain gender parity in education.
The Project Co-ordinator of the GES, Mrs Veronica Jackson, commended beneficiaries for winning the awards. She however, reminded them that the awards were a one-time package and that they were intended to motivate them to work harder to achieve their goals in education.
She also commended the Nanumba North and Zabzugu/Tatale Districts for placing 9th and 17th respectively on the 2011 BECE league table. The Deputy Director General in charge of Quality and Access at the GES, Mr Charles Aheto-Tsegah, appealed to more public spirited individuals at the community level to join in the sponsorship scheme.
He thanked the Member of Parliament for Mion Constituency, and other partners for supporting the scheme.
Source: Daily Graphic