Plan Ghana in collaboration with Ghana Education Service, at the weekend opened an eight-day Girls’ Camp in Accra for 150 underprivileged school girls from the Akwapim North and East Akyim Districts of the Eastern Region.
The Camp which is being funded from Plan Ghana’s Girl Power Project is on the team: “Building the future through all inclusive education.”
It will train the girls in information and communications technology, gender studies, adolescent and reproductive health issues.
It aims at increasing and rekindling girls’ interest and enthusiasm for education by exposing them to various role models, who would inspire them to pursue academic excellence and reach for greater heights, and also seeks to improve school retention and completion rates, especially in less endowed communities.
In his keynote address, Mr Asum-Kwarteng Ahensah, Plan Ghana Strategic Programme Support Manager, said though there had been elaborate plans on inclusive education, implementation of these plans has unacceptably lagged behind.
He expressed the need for government and other stakeholders to commit adequate resources to education as a means of addressing long-term socio-economic inequalities.
“We may observe that, in Ghana, training in inclusive education is pursued only at the decree level at the University of Education, Winneba,” he said.
He said it is necessary for government to consider mainstreaming “inclusive education” curriculum into all colleges of education, where majority of teachers are trained.
This, Mr Ahensah explained would ensure that teachers at all levels are better equipped to support the inclusive education drive.
He urged policy makers to broaden the definition of “inclusive education” to cover children who are excluded from education due to religious, cultural, gender and geographical factors.
He cited examples of girls bonded under trokosi, and children living in “witch camps”, who risk being excluded forever unless innovative and targeted interventions are put in place under inclusive education policy formulation and strategies.
He noted that such policies and plans should be backed with adequate budgetary allocation so that they do not remain unimplemented.
Mr Ahensah gave the assurance that Plan Ghana would continue to collaborate with Ghana Education Service and other strategic partners to devise innovative programmes and interventions such as the camp to build the capacity of girls as part of their equality initiative.
To the participants, he said: “Plan Ghana and all stakeholders want you to dream big, develop a spirit of optimism and assertiveness to climb up the educational ladder”.
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