School for Life Updates

School for Life Updates

SfL Blog

This presents monthly updates of activities carried out by SfL in the Complementary Basic Education component of the E4L Programme

UPDATES FOR MARCH AND APRIL 2017

SfL this month:Posted by Abdul Rahim Fri, June 02, 2017 13:01:12

1.0 INTRODUCTION

During the period under review, SfL undertook and or participated in the following activities:

2.0 GV VISIT

SfL participated at relevant sessions during the interactions between GV and its partners on the E4L Programme in late April. Of particular significance were the further exploration of the subject of Human Resource Management, follow-up on financial/audit matters on the E4L Programme and the PSC meeting and bilateral partnership deliberations.

3.0 IDEAS GENERATION FOR 2018-2019 PROGRAMME

SfL’s input to the ideas for the proposed 2018-2019 Programme hinges on the need to change teachers’ attitudes through reflective practice, building on a project SfL has done with Tzedek and for which there is a manual. This method has the potential to add to the existing strategy on education as it is in line with the aim of getting SfL methodology into the formal school.

4.0 SEND-OFF PARTY FOR SfL STAFF

SfL organized a short but impressive Send-Off party for two former Management Staff of the organisation. The two former staffs, Madam Lawrencial Dakurah Abakisi and Hon. Salifu Adam Braimah, served as Deputy Manager- Advocacy and Gender and Deputy Manager – Finance and Administration respectively. The programme was attended by staff of SfL and a lot of others from CSOs based in Tamale, especially GDCA and members of the CBE alliance, representatives from Regional Education Office, and members of the SfL Technical Committee.

The Programme Manager of SfL, Alhaji S.O. Saaka in his address, expressed joy and delight in working with the two as his deputies and underscored the relevance of their contribution to the success story of SfL. He thanked them for all of the commitment and dedication they exhibited during the period that they worked in SfL.

Some TC members, the NNED Coordinator and representatives of the GDCA/E4L, GES and some SfL staff delivered solidarity messages.

On their part the two former staff thanked the TC, Management and staff of SfL for recognizing their contributions. They promised to always avail themselves as and when possible to champion the cause of SfL.

The two were honored with citations, able top refrigerators and cloth/smock. The occasion was also used to award Mr. Dasani Andani (Nanumba South District Coordinator) as the most outstanding District Coordinator. He was also given a citation, a refrigerator and a smock.

Past SfL Staff Receiving Citation

5.0 IT TRAINING WORKSHOP FOR CBE DISTRICT COORDINATORS

A training workshop on working with digital images and email administration was organized for Coordinators across the 8 CBE operational districts. The workshop was aimed at enhancing and facilitating the process of communication between field staff and head office staff and also to help improve report writing and presentation skills of the District Coordinators.

Participants were also taken through the CBE monitoring checklist to ensure that a common understanding was established pertaining to the administration of the checklist.

They were also reminded to improve on their reporting and be guided by the principles of responsiveness, consistency, accuracy and promptness in their line of duty and to constantly work closely with the District level authorities (DAs and GES) to consolidate the gains of the Programme.

The coordinators showed appreciation for the training, which they indicated, had helped to boost their capacities for better performance.

CBE Coordinators During the IT Training Workshop

6.0 WORKSHOP ON NGO FUNDING AND PARTNERSHIP

School for Life participated in a one-day training workshop on NGO funding and Partnerships, The workshop brought together corporate and civil society organizations and NGOs.

Among the topics discussed included: Global trends in NGO funding, NGO Partnership and Networking and NGO branding. Participants were also taken through steps for effective proposal writing.

It came out of the workshop that, there is the need for NGOs to be more innovative and strategic in terms of resource mobilization and sourcing considering the downward trends in donor support and funding. NGOs were also urged to form partnerships and to move towards becoming social enterprises with a profit-making motive so as to continue to stay in business.

7.0 CBE ALLIANCE GENERAL MEETING

SfL organized a CBE Alliance General Meeting, which resulted in the following outcomes:

· The need to organize a one-day workshop to collate the views and inputs of members towards the review of the National CBE Policy.

· The need to liaise and lobby appropriate individuals and organizations aimed at meeting the Parliamentary Select Committee on Education and subsequently the Minister of Education.

· The need for IPs to commit resources towards the sustenance of the on-going CBE jingles and the need to step-up the CBE advocacy drive.


CBE Alliance General Meeting

8.0 GUEST FOR NORTHERN YOUTH CONFERENCE 2017- YOUTH NETWORK FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

SfL participated in the Northern Youth Conference of 2017. The theme of the conference was: Projecting the North as Haven of Peace – The role of the youth. In attendance were Traditional rulers, religious leaders, Youth Groups, Institutional representatives, and schools. In line with the theme of the conference, the Guest Speaker (Hikmatu Baba Dua) advised the youth to be wary of politicians and not to allow themselves to be misused by other people. The keynote address was delivered by a representative of the Northern Regional Minister, who called on the youth to inculcate in themselves the qualities of patience, tolerance and respect if they truly want to be peace ambassadors. He also urged the youth to exploit the fullest use of their time in setting up developmental agenda and defining their roles in both local and national development.

9.0 MONITORING OF CBE CLASSES

The M&E Unit undertook the usual monthly monitoring of CBE classes in the 10 districts (8 GCBE districts in the Northern Region and 2 UNICEF sponsored districts in the Upper East Region). Classes were observed to be progressing well except for few cases of absenteeism and lateness to classes due to the seasonal shortage of water in those communities.

The monitoring period in the Builsa districts coincided with the distribution of bicycles to CBE graduates in formal schools to facilitate their regular attendance to school. Both parents and pupils were very grateful for the support. The pupils promised to study hard.

10.0 DISTRICT COORDINATORS TRAINING


District Coordinators were given training on Information Communication Technology (ICT) particularly in the capturing of images in reporting.

The training was combined with a briefing by management on the current status of the Ghana CBE Programme after the current cycle (cycle 4) This touched on the possible reduction of Programme districts because CBE will exit from 8 districts of the current 43 districts country wide. 14 districts to be implemented solely by Government (GES and DAs) and 21 districts to be left for IP implementation during the last cycle (2017/18) of the donor-supported cycle.

11.0 MEETING WITH KUMBUNGU DISTRICT EDUCATION OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE (DEOC)

DEOC in Kumbungu endorses the establishment of Girls Model School (Junior High School) in the Kumbungu District. This came to light when the DEOC held a meeting in March 2017. According to the District GES Director, the rationale behind the establishment of the Girls Model School is to encourage more girls in the area to enroll and remain in school and to discourage them from travelling to the urban centres to serve as head potters (kayaye) that increases their vulnerability.

As part of measures to help improve quality education in the district, the District Education Directorate placed a ban on the salaries of six teachers who were observed to be non-performing. Following this, the DEOC members decided to undertake a comprehensive circuit level monitoring visits to schools in the District to obtain first hand information about what happens in the schools. In addition, the DEOC is proposing a district-wide examination for the students. E4L will continue to monitor these activities proposed by the DEOC.

12.0 QUIZ/READING COMPETITION FOR LOWER PRIMARY PUPILS IN EQUIP DISTRICTS

Intra-District and Inter-District Quiz/reading competitions were organized for lower primary school children in all 13 EQUIP Districts. The quiz centred on image identification, spelling of familiar and unfamiliar words, reading of short sentences and reading of both short and long paragraphs. The best performing students from each of the Districts were brought together to contest in the Inter-District quiz/reading competition at 5 centres. Each of the inter-district contest participants received a prize for making it to the inter-district stage. The prizes were ranked and among others included textbooks for contestant’s current class and his/her next class, notebooks, pens, pencils, crayons, school in a bag, storybooks, mathematical sets and certificates of participation. The District Education Directorates expressed gratitude to the management and staff of SfL for this initiative and promised to adopt it for the purpose of improving upon the quality of education in their districts.


Contestants display their certificates of participation at close of competition-Mion vrs Nanumba- South

13.0 FOUR DAY REFRESHER TRAINING WORKSHOP FOR CBE FACILITATORS

A four-day refresher-training workshop was organized for facilitators in all 8 CBE operational Districts. 454 facilitators, made up of 343 males and 111 female facilitators, attended the workshop. The purpose of the workshop was to re-visit what the facilitators have been taught during the initial training workshops in order to ascertain the challenges they encounter in using some of the approaches. It was also aimed at creating room for experience sharing among both new and old facilitators. Experienced Resource Persons, supported by SfL field staff, facilitated the workshop and monitored by the staff of the M&E Unit of SfL. Facilitators took active part in all lessons and practically demonstrated their understanding of the key concepts and principles through group presentations and individual assignments.

Open forums at the various centers were lively and interactive, thus generating useful discussions regarding the level of the “Soap money”, future professions of facilitators, incentives and future of the CBE Programme.









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SfL Updates for January and February 2017

SfL this month:Posted by Abdul Rahim Tue, March 14, 2017 10:16:52

1.0 INTRODUCTION

During the period under review, SfL undertook and or participated in the following activities:

2.0 CBE ALLIANCE TASK FORCE MEETING

SfL organized a CBE Alliance Task Force meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to review the status of the implementation of the 2016 work plan especially with regard to the launch and dissemination of the CBE Policy and to plan activities and budget for 2017. The meeting also discussed issues emanating from the Ghana CBE Programme Annual Review Meeting organized by the Ghana CBE Management Unit.

The Following were outcomes from the meeting;

o Members were informed that the CBE Policy document would be reviewed and so it was important to make contributions to the review process.

o A letter to be written to the Management Unit, suggesting the way forward for the implementation of Cycle 5.

o It was also agreed that the 2016 work plan should be adopted for 2017.

3.0 CAREER GUIDANCE, LEADERSHIP AND ENTREPRENEURIAL SKILLS TRAINING WORKSHOP FOR FEMALE FACILITATORS

SfL organized a Career Guidance, Leadership and Entrepreneurial skills training workshop for female facilitators of the Ghana Complementary Basic Education Programme. The one-day training workshop brought together 110 female facilitators from the eight SfL CBE operational Districts (Mion, Yendi, Sagnarigu, Kumbungu, Zabzugu, Nanumba South, Saboba and Central Gonja).

The training, among others, was aimed at contributing to improve the quality of life and general wellbeing of the female facilitators, as well as support them to take up leadership roles in their communities as facilitators.

Participants were given the opportunity to share experiences on how they have made use of knowledge and skills acquired at the last training. This brought to light that some participants are now doing petty trading, e.g. making and selling candies to augment their income, while two others were able to register and rewrite the WASSCE. The two passed the exams.

Participants observing a session on Liquid Soap making

4.0 GHANA CBE ANNUAL REVIEW MEETING

The Ghana Complementary Basic Education Programme (GCBE) organized a 3-days Programme Implementation Review and Lesson Learning and Sharing meeting.

This year’s review focused on sharing experiences and key lessons from the 2015-16 Cycle implementation with special focus on the results of the Learner Assessment and the programme implementers’ responsiveness to the Key Performance Indicators.

From the Assessment Report, the programme was found to have attained an A+ grading. This excellent performance is not only commendable, but also places a stiff challenge on the programme to sustain the performance or even do better in subsequent years.

On the implementers’ responsiveness to the KPIs, most organizations (including SfL) scored at least 90%. Thus the overall performance of the programme was excellent.

Participants during the CBE Annual Review Meeting

5.0 NORTHERN NETWORK FOR EDUCATION DEVELOPMENT (NNED) REGIONAL CHAPTER MEETING

SfL participated in a one-day workshop organized by NNED The workshop brought together civil society organizations and individuals within the NNED fraternity to discuss and collectively provide suggestions of technical relevance towards the implementation of the Promoting Transparency and Accountability in Education (PTAE) Project.

The aim of PTAE is to promote transparency and accountability in the use of education resources among education service managers by assessing the performance and achievements of the Ghana Partnership Education Grant (GPEG).

The PTAE project is expected to increase the awareness and involvement of 270 local civil society members and 1250 parents from 25 districts in the management of education resources in Northern Ghana and also promote adherence to effective mechanisms for challenging education resources from central government to decentralized offices in Northern Ghana.

It was agreed that NNED members operating in the selected districts would be responsible for coordinating the activities under the PTAE project. These members were selected based on their inclusion in the organisational profile chart provided by NOYED for members to fill earlier.

6.0 JOY OF READING

SfL has submitted an application for Joy of Reading Award. The award is given to projects that promote the joy of reading and fight illiteracy. The award is established by the IT Company Systematic in collaboration with the Next Library Conference. SfL with its passion for making more out of school children literate in their mother tongue, SfL found it necessary to submit an application. In the process of drafting the application, Inger/GV made inputs for improving the draft.

7.0 VERIFICATION EXERCISE

The verification of CBE learners to find out the veracity of the allegation that some formal school pupils have found their way into CBE classes in the Ghana CBE Programme Districts was undertaken by SfL M&E unit and GES desk officers in all GCBE districts implemented by SfL. The final result indicated that in all the districts there were some formal school learners in some CBE classes even though not very many as was alleged.

In all, 9% of the enrolled learners were found to be formal school pupils. These pupils have been removed from the CBE classes and immediately replaced with out-of-school children in the affected classes. Special attention is being given to such new learners to enable them catch up with the others.

8.0 MONITORING OF CBE CLASSES

Monitoring of CBE classes implemented in the eight districts of Northern Region and two districts in the Upper East Region revealed that classes are progressing well all over. This time, the change of government made it difficult for SfL to hold to hold such meetings with the Assemblies since they (Assemblies) are still going through some reorganization. Meeting with GES staff, however, have been held without much difficulty.

For example in Kumbungu, Sagnarigu and Central Gonja Districts, the SfL officers met with the frontline Assistant Directors (ADs) including the CBE Desk officers to discuss the level of involvement of the GES in CBE activities in the Districts. The District Directors of Education chaired all these meetings.

9.0 UNICEF SUPPORT

UNICEF has supplied 870 used bicycles to SfL to be distributed to CBE learners integrated into formal schools in the Builsa North and Builsa South Districts. These children integrated into formal schools in the two districts after graduating from the CBE classes in July 2016. The distribution is being done by the GES of the districts on behalf of SfL and UNICEF.

10.0 GV VISIT

Inger and Dean visited Tamale in the middle of February. SFL was involved in many of the meetings organized by Dean at the E4L Finance Team and Management Committee (MC) levels.

11.0 GDCA STEERING COMMITTEE AND SfL TC MEETINGS

The GDCA Steering Committee and SfL TC held their regular meetings. At the Steering Committee meeting, SfL was singled out and highly commended for always holding quarterly TC meetings and serving GDCA Secretariat with the highlights of the meeting. Other GDCA Units were called upon to emulate the good practice of SfL.

At the TC meeting, a suggestion by Management to suspend the recruitment exercise to get a replacement for Lawrencia was upheld by the TC. The TC gave its total concurrence to Management’s suggestion to rather support, encourage and grow the CAO (Abdul Rahim) to add Gender to the Communication and Advocacy role. This position was brought to the attention of the GDCA/E4L ED/PM who in turn informed the GV Secretariat. Happily, both ends have given their No Objection to this idea and also agreed that E4L will continue to support the Advocacy and Gender position holder in SfL by paying the 50% salary for the position.



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SfL Updates for the Month of November and December 2016

SfL this month:Posted by Abdul Rahim Tue, March 14, 2017 09:55:23

1.0 Introduction

During the period under review, SfL undertook and or participated in the following activities:

2.0 GV MONITORING VISIT TO SCHOOL FOR LIFE AND E4L

SfL participated in a series of activities marking SfL Committee/GV’s monitoring visit to School Life and E4L in late November 2016.

A wide range of activities was conducted including meetings/discussions, field visits and a workshop on quality education.

A comprehensive report covering the visit has been submitted by GV, in which the developments and achievements occurring in SfL have been highly commended and important follow-up actions recommended.

Participants during a group session at the Quality Education Workshop


3.0 GES/UNICEF ANNUAL REVIEW AND PLANNING MEETING

SfL participated in a 4-day workshop organized by UNICEF from 19th to 22nd of December 2016.

The rationale for the workshop was to assess the progress of work as per UNICEF’s 2016 Annual Work Plan (AWP) and draw a work plan for 2017/2018.

Discussions on the progress of work for the 2016-work plan were impressive as highlighted in the 2016 work plan progress report. These not withstanding, few challenges were pointed out in the areas of reporting and fund utilization within the District Education Offices.

Participating NGOs implementing UNICEF CBE presented the status of CBE implementation in the project Districts drawing inferences on learners enrolment and retention, integration and graduation with specific emphasis on the girl child.

Discussions on the 2017/2018 work plan were tailored towards sustaining and consolidating the gains in the 2016 work plan and improving on the technical capacity of partners through refresher programmes and workshops in delivering quality education.

4.0 STAKEHOLDERS WORKSHOP ON DRAFT GENDER IN EDUCATION POLICY

School for life participated in a stakeholder workshop organized by the Ministry of Education with the support of UNICEF on the 13th of December 2016. The workshop was to review, update and finalize a draft gender in Education policy for a holistic framing and coverage of critical issues in gender and education.

The workshop also provided an avenue for developing guidelines for education sector response to address the issue of pregnancy and schooling and also to facilitate opportunities for young mothers to re-enter school at the basic and secondary level, drawing inspiration from international best practices and evidence as well as national experience.

The draft Gender Education Policy provides that, among other things, adolescent pregnant girls must be allowed to remain in school and encouraged to continue with schooling at all levels of basic and secondary education.


Regional Director of Education addressing participants at the Gender workshop


5.0 CONCEPT NOTE SUBMISSION ON “LEAVE-NO-GIRL BEHIND”

SfL, GDCA and YEfL have jointly submitted a concept note as a consortium for the implementation of “Leave No Girl Behind” Project, a new funding window under the Girls’ Education Challenge Fund a UK Aid initiative.

The Leave No Girl Behind initiative aims at supporting interventions for highly marginalized, adolescent girls who are out of school (either because they have never been to school, or have already dropped out of school without gaining a basic education) to provide them the opportunity to enroll in school or gain employment or improve the quality of life of their family lives.

6.0 MONITORING AND SUPERVISION OF CBE CLASSES

Monitoring and supervision of CBE classes continued in ten districts: eight for the Ghana CBE programme and two under UNCEF support. Observations from the monitoring indicate that the classes are running smoothly.

7.0 SEVEN-DAY REFRESHER TRAINING IN CBE OPERATIONAL DISTRICTS

Seven-day refresher training took place from 12th to 19th December 2016 in all the ten CBE districts.

The objective of the in-service training was to accord the facilitators, especially the new ones, to discuss with their colleague’s facilitators and resource person’s challenges they have encountered during the first three months of facilitating.

At the end of the training in the Builsa North and Builsa South districts, bicycles were given to facilitators who facilitated in the previous cycle. This was due to the delay in the release of funds from UNICEF to procure the bicycles.

The facilitators were delighted to receive their incentives even though it was delayed.

8.0 MONITORING OF GCBE ENGLISH PILOT PROJECT

During December, the Management Unit and the GES headquarters monitored CBE learners who benefited from the GCBE English Pilot to find out how they were coping in the formal schools. This monitoring revealed that there were some formal school children in the CBE classes. When this was brought to the notice of Management, the M&E Unit was tasked to undertake a verification exercise with the support of GES officers to ascertain the truth or otherwise of the information. A report on the verification is being prepared for Management to adopt strategies to ensure that only Out-of-school children or dropouts are enrolled in the CBE classes.

9.0 SfL/Tzedek (EQUIP)

9.1 ENGAGEMENT MEETINGS WITH DISTRICT ASSEMBLIES AND GES OF FIVE NEW DISTRICTS

In November, an engagement meeting was held with District Assemblies and GES of five new Districts that were identified for collaboration that will last up till March, 2017. The purpose of the meeting was to provide detailed information on the nature of the collaboration and also offer the partners the opportunity to discuss the planned activity implementation with the project management team in Ghana. At the end of the meetings all five Districts Directors promised to support the collaboration to realize the planned objectives. The five new Districts for the collaboration are Sagnarigu, Mamprugu – Moaduri, Gushegu, Nanumba – South, and Mion. Below is a picture after the engagement meeting with GES of Mion District.

9.2 PRESENTATION OF AWARDS TO BEST TEACHERS FOR THE 2015/2016 CYCLE

Twenty-four teachers made up of 3 each from the newest 4 Districts and 6 each from the 2 oldest Districts were awarded as best teachers for the 2015/2016 cycle of EQUIP. District Directors of education and the Northern Regional Director participated in the awards ceremony. Each award winner was presented a table top fridge in recognition of their efforts and contribution towards the success of the project during the final year of its operation.

9.3 TRAINING OF TRAINERS’ WORKSHOP FOR DTSTs OF 5 NEW DISTRICTS

Five members of District Teacher Support Teams from each of the five new Districts were trained on the modularized course designed for the new collaboration. The purpose of the training workshop was to equip the DTSTs with the requisite knowledge to be able to facilitate teacher trainings at the District level. The DTSTs were confident of their preparedness to handle District level trainings and to propel the agenda of the SfL/Tzedek EQUIP collaboration.

9.4 CIRCUIT SUPERVISORS’ (CSs) TRAINING FOR 5 NEW DISTRICTS

In line with the agenda of handing over the ownership and responsibility of teacher trainings to GES at the District levels, 9 CSs from each of the 5 new Districts received training on the modularized course to be able to facilitate cluster and school – based meetings/trainings on the EQUIP approaches. The training will also prepare them to offer on – the – spot coaching to teachers whenever the need arises.

10.0 DMAG/TA-AG’s RETIREMENT

DMAG/TA-AG (Lawrencia) has served formal notice to retire from SfL with effect from 1st March 2017.

PM has discussed the matter with TC Chairman and also the GDCA Executive Director/E4L Programme Manager. The discussions have led to a decision to advertise the position. The advertisement has been put out and will be followed by the other steps in the recruitment process in January and February 2017.



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SfL Updates for the Month of October 2016

SfL this month:Posted by Abdul Rahim Thu, November 17, 2016 16:46:17

1.0 INTRODUCTION

During the period under review, SfL undertook and or participated in the following activities:

2.0 MEETING WITH DEVELOPMENT PARTNERS

SfL participated in a Development Partners meeting organized by the Northern Regional Coordinating Council. The meeting brought together Civil Society Organizations, Government Agencies and Departments as well as the media to discuss and adopt necessary steps and actions that will propel the growth and development of the region as well as consolidate the gains and progress already made, especially in the areas of education, sanitation and nutrition.

Some of the more specific areas of agreement reached at the meeting included:

· The need to draft a Northern Regional Profile and subsequent presentation of the profile to the Expanded Regional Planning Unit.

· The need to make available the national policy document on sanitation to Government Agencies and Departments since most institutions are not conversant with the national policy on sanitation.

· The need to strengthen existing approaches and strategies on CLTS to control open defecation and also the need for communities and District Assemblies to take full control of sanitation related issues.

· The need for Development Partners to support the institution of a formidable M&E plan and strategy to enhance effective data gathering and monitoring of activities of Development Partners

3.0 TEACHER EXCHANGE PROGRAMME

3.1 Pedagogical Training Workshop for Head Teachers

Twenty Head Teachers from across the circuits in Sagnarigu District benefited from best pedagogical practices in Denmark through participating in a 2-day pedagogical training workshop in Tamale.

The training was facilitated by both Ghanaian and Danish participants. On their part, the Ghanaian participants shared their experiences from Denmark and also introduced participants to some of SfL/Tzedek Education Quality Initiative Project’s (EQUIP) approaches. Among the approaches were the alphabetic lid, guess my number, decoding, sentence maker, sentence puzzle, the noun game and others.

The two day training programme ended with participants expressing strong commitment to spread the approaches learnt to the classroom teachers of their schools. The Head Teachers also requested the SfL/Tzedek EQUIP team to offer their services to them when they are called to facilitate workshops on the approaches during school based in-service trainings

PARTICIPANTS AT GROUP DISCUSSIONS DURING THE PEDAGOGICAL WORKSHOP


3.2 Meetings With 2016 TEP Participants

SfL held two meetings with the 2016 TEP participants. The first meeting provided an avenue for SfL management to formally welcome the Danish team into the country as well as orient them on the cultural and societal norms of the Ghanaian setting.

The meeting also afforded participants the opportunity to recount and share their experiences with SfL management ranging from observations in the Danish cultural and societal setting, methodology of teaching and learning as well as teacher-learner relationships in Danish classes. The experinece sharing applied not only to the three Danish Teachers, but also the four Ghanaian participants.

From the expereince sharing, it became clear, interalia, that whiles teaching and learning in Danish classes were more of activity based and practical interms of delivery, the same could not be said of teaching and learning in Ghanain classes.

The second meeting was held to evaluate the TEP following the end of the Programme on the Ghanaian side. The evaluation exercise showed useful positives in the 2016 TEP owing to the novelty in the design of the programme itinerary. The opportunity for participants to participate in the Denmark seminar for the first time was lauded. The Danish participants underscored their appreciation of how good it feels to visit a country like Ghana in this kind of arrangement rather than as a tourist. They also pledged to play advocacy roles towards winning and sustaining the interests of Danish teachers in the SfL/GV Teacher Exchange Programme. The need for an association of TEP participants in Ghana was also discussed and it is hoped that steps will be taken to make this come into fruition

SfL Management with TEP Participants During the First Meeting


4.0 INITIAL FACILITATOR TRAINING WORKSHOP


Initial 21 days facilitator’s training was organized in SfL CBE implementing area (8 Districts). In all, 454 facilitators were trained comprising 114 females 340 males.

The objective of the training was to introduce newly recruited facilitators to the CBE methodology and to support the continuing facilitators to overcome challenges they faced after one or two years as facilitators.

The facilitators were taken through various methods of CBE, ranging from how to facilitate reading, writing and numeracy lessons, to how to relate with the various stakeholders to bring about the desired results.

Resource Persons used a mixture of methods and created room for practical demonstration on facilitating in CBE classes. At the end of the training, it could be seen from the practical demonstrations of preparation and use of TLMs in CBE classes that the facilitators has acquired new knowledge and skills in CBE facilitating

At the time the training was going on, all teaching and learning materials needed for the start of classes were being distributed to the District centres

FACILITATORS DURING A TRAINING SESSION

5.0 START OF CLASSES FOR THE 2016/2017 CYCLE

CBE classes started on Monday, 10th October 2016. Ceremonies were organized at the districts to mark “My First Day in CBE class”. These ceremonies were organized in collaboration with the District Directorates of Education

SAGNARIGU DISTRICT DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION WITH CBE LEARNERS ON “MY FIRST DAY IN CBE CLASS”

6.0 CAPACITY BUILDING OF LOCAL COMMITTEE MEMBERS

Capacity building workshops were also organized for the local committees in all 454 communities to prepare them to support CBE classes in their communities. Topics treated during the workshops included: the role of local committees; qualities of local committee members; the role of local committee members in the integration of CBE graduates into formal school; and how to motivate volunteers (facilitators) to work effectively.













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SfL Updates for the Month of September 2016

SfL this month:Posted by Abdul Rahim Thu, November 17, 2016 16:10:05

SCHOOL FOR LIFE’s UPDATES FOR SEPTEMBER, 2016
1.0 Introduction

During the period under review, SfL undertook and or participated in the following activities:

2.0 MEETING WITH 2016 TEP PARTICIPANTS

As part of the final preparations towards this year TEP, SfL organized a one day training programme for the Ghana group. The meeting was the final in a series of meetings organized for participants. In attendance were two Resource Persons were drawn from past participants of the Teacher Exchange Programme.

The meeting afforded participants the opportunity to have a general view of the programme ranging from travel documentation, home etiquettes, weather, dress code, diet and nutrition as well as expectations and challenges.

The content for this year’s drama was further developed and rehearsed to reflect the theme for this year’s Ghana Seminar (People Moving).

Alhaji Andani and Mr. Nasara, past participants of the TEP briefed the participants on the differences in culture and lifestyles between Ghana and Denmark and called on the participants to draw positives from such differences.

The Ghana group graduated from the meeting more prepared than before to participate in the TEP.

The Ghana group are in Denmark for this year TEP and are expected back to the country early next month.



TEP participant interacting with past participants during an orientation

3.0 EDUCATION SECTOR WORKING GROUP (ESWG) MEETING

SfL participated in a meeting organized by the Northern Region Education Sector Working Group. The meeting brought together key stakeholders in the area of education to brainstorm and discuss the poor functionality of District Educational Oversight Committees (DEOCs) in the region as revealed in the November 2014 -June 2015 Monitoring Report of the Working Group and to find appropriate solutions to the poor performance of the DEOCs.

Out of a total of 26 DEOCs, it was revealed that 16 were non–functional with the remaining 10 DEOCs performing below expectation.

Discussions on the functionality of these DEOCs were tied to budgetary commitments and the need to source funds to train and build the capacity of the 16 non-functional DEOCs.

4.0 PUBLIC FORUM ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS (SDGs) AND POLITICAL PARTY MANIFESTOS

SfL participated in a stakeholder forum organized by the Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC). The forum, among others was aimed at providing a broad stakeholder consultation and discussion on the SDGs with specific reference to political party manifestos.

The forum afforded political parties the opportunity to explain their policies and programmes, and how those policies can help shape and fast track the attainment of the SDGs adopted in September 2015.

It was agreed at the end of the forum that political party manifesto should be made to reflect the prevailing developmental needs of the country devoid of partisan interest which does not promote the course of national growth and development. Political parties were also entreated to adopt proactive measures towards ensuring violent-free elections in the December 7th 2016 general elections.

5.0 REVIEW OF DATA COLLECTION QUESTIONNAIRE

In response to comments and suggestions with regards to the data collection questionnaire for the Education thematic area after piloting it, it became necessary for it to be reviewed to include separate questions for School for Life Local Committees and SfL Alumni. Some specific questions were also re-framed based on comments and suggestions made by the District Teams.

The data collection questionnaire for the Education thematic area is now complete for continuous data collection in all the districts.

6.0 CAPACITY BUILDING TRAINING PROGRAMME

District Teacher Support Teams (DTSTs) and E4L field staffs from three E4L Districts (Karaga, Savelugu and Mion) have had their capacities built on how to continuously and effectively provide orientation, sensitization and training to SMCs and PTAs in their Districts.

The participants used case studies in more practical terms to demonstrate their ability to support the SMCs and PTAs realize the impact of their actions and inactions on education in their communities.

All the DTSTs, apart from ensuring that all SMCs and PTAs in their districts are functional, also made the following decisions on how to effectively engage the SMCs and PTAs:

i. Establishing cluster based SMCs and PTA networks;

ii. Establishing circuit, inter-circuit and District level SMCs and PTA networks.

The District Teams of E4L have been encouraged to make follow ups to ensure that the above decisions are carried out.

7.0 WORKSHOP ON EARLY READING IN PRIMARY SCHOOLS

The Chief of Party of the USAID Partnership for Education: Learning has commended SfL for its tremendous contribution in helping to bring about quality education in Ghana. This was realized at a workshop organized by Ghana Education Service in collaboration with the USAID Partnership for Education: Learning. The purpose of the workshop was to explore ways to strengthen early reading in primary schools in Ghana. The workshop gave NGOs that were invited the opportunity to showcase their literacy approaches, delivery methods and materials used to improve reading in their operational areas.
After SfL’s presentation on the above areas, the Chief of Party of USAID Partnership for Education appeared overwhelmed and commended SfL for its tremendous achievements but was very much interested in seeing SfL’s approaches mainstreamed in all schools in Ghana. She said USAID would support the Curriculum Research and Development Division (CRDD) of the Ghana Education Service to come out with a programme that would be meaningful to the Government of Ghana with regards to literacy delivery in primary schools. She said as part of the strategy to improve reading, a Literacy Advisory Committee (LAC), made up of representatives from the MOE/GES; National Council for Curriculum Assessment; National Teaching Service; National Inspectorate Board; Universities and Colleges of Education; Language Associations (Ghanaian Language and English) and Learning Team has been formed.

8.0 TOT WORKSHOP

SfL facilitated a Training of Trainers (ToT) workshop organized by the Management Unit (MU) of the Ghana CBE Programme for Resource Persons of all Implementing Partners s for facilitators training. The workshop brought together 72 Resource Persons from all 10 IPs. The six days workshop was used to prepare the Resource Persons adequately for the cycle four initial training for Facilitators.

9. 0 CBE ENGLISH PILOT PROJECT

SfL completed a two months CBE English pilot implementation in the Sagnarigu District. An assessment has been carried out and a report is being drafted for submission to the Management Unit

10.0 DISTRIBUTION OF TLMs

The distribution of TLMs for the commencement of the CBE 4th cycle is also being done alongside the monitoring of the 21 days facilitators training being carried out in the seven SfL operational district

11.0 CBE IMPLEMENTATION

The Piloting of CBE implementation by Government institutions GES/DAs has commenced for this cycle in three districts of SfL implementation area and 15 districts nationwide. The Assemblies and the GES are given some key responsibilities to carry out to enable them appreciate what goes into the implementation of the Programme. These activities include the training of facilitators, Local committee members and the integration of learners into the formal system. SfL held an initial stakeholder meeting with the key staff of the institutions (GES District Directors; Desk Officers; District Coordinating Directors and Directors of the Department of Community Development) to brief them on the new paradigm of implementation of the CBE programme. They appreciated the need for the show of sense of ownership of the Programme and promised to work closely with SfL to ensure the success of the programme.


12.0 SfL/Tzedek EQUIP

12.1 Project Evaluation

The Education Quality Initiative Project, which was due to come to close in July,2016 really was brought to an end with the conduct of Project Evaluation.The Project Evaluation was purely an external exercise , led by Adam Kessler from UK and supported by Ibrahim Sebiyam from the Northern Regional Education Office.

The purpose of the project evaluation was to assess the impact of the project on education quality with emphasis on learning outcomes of children in Numeracy and Literacy.

12.2 Project Staff Meeting

The project ended with a project staff meeting held to discuss the preliminary findings of evaluation. The meeting also provided an opportunity to thank the staff for their hard work and dedication throughout the projects’ existence.






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SfL JULY AND AUGUST 2016 UPDATES

SfL this month:Posted by Abdul Rahim Wed, September 28, 2016 14:45:39

1.0 INTRODUCTION

This report covers the period July to August 2016. During the period under review, SfL undertook and or participated in the following activities:

2.0 2016 NATIONAL EDUCATION SECTOR ANNUAL REVIEW

SfL participated in the National Education Sector Annual Review Meeting. The two day programme was attended by Development Partners and CSOs in Education as well as other stakeholders in the public sector of Ghana. The theme of the review was: SUSTAINING THE GAINS IN ACCESS AND QUALITY EDUCATION AND ENHANCING LEARNING OUTCOMES FOR ALL

The meeting had a two-broad objective:

a. To review the Education Strategic Plan (ESP) and b. To make inputs for the finalization of the New Frame work of Action 2016-2030.

Inputs were mobilized from participants after a team of consultants had made presentations.

The issues were then prioritized to show what was critical for the next 5 years.

The groups also looked at the policy objectives and the strategies and selected critical ones that should be taken on within the next 5 years and also include sub objectives and strategies that were missing for the consultants to consider.

3.0 MOTHER TONGUE ADVOCACY CONFERENCE

SfL participated in the mother tongue advocacy conference dubbed “The Mother Tongue in National Development” organized by GILLBT on the 7th-8th July 2016. The two–day conference brought together Government agencies, Departments, CSO, NGOs and resource persons to deliberate on the adoption and usage of our local languages in Ghana and how that can effectively promote the process of education and sustainable development .

The major highlight of the conference was to draw public attention, especially the participating organizations and Government agencies , to the role of local languages in education and development in general, so they can reflect and hopefully give due consideration to the role of predominant local languages or mother tongue in the design and implementation of their development interventions .

The conference was therefore a platform to advocate the use of many more Ghanaian languages in formal and public education.

At the end of the two-day conference the following were agreed on:

· The need to expand and equip educational institutions for the study of Ghanaian language-curriculum review and enrichment process.

· Extensive research on language and language use.

· Citizen engagement in shaping local language for development.

· Parents should teach their children the local language before any other non-local languages.

4.0 CBE ALLIANCE MEETING WITH GHANA CBE MANAGEMENT UNIT

SfL led a team of the CBE Alliance to make a follow up with the Team Leader of the CBE Management Unit and the Chief Director of the Ministry of Education, who is the Chairman of the Steering Committee of the CBE programme concerning the proposal of the CBE Alliance to launch and disseminate the CBE Policy. The outcome was that though the Steering Committee acknowledges the need for the launch of the Policy it considers the need for the Policy document to be reviewed to reflect the current situation of out of school children as well as update some information in the document before it can be launched. The Alliance considers it prudent to review the document before it is launched and disseminated. The CBE Alliance will therefore continue to monitor the situation and engage the MOE for the early review of the Policy.

5.0 GENDER TRAINING OF E4L DISTRICT TEAMS

The Technical Advisor, Advocacy and Gender provided support to the E4L District Teams in the training of Groups in Gender. She also supported in the organization of platforms for women to advance their interests and issues. The platforms created the opportunity for women to discuss and prioritize issues that are of concern to them. The women were supported to draw up strategies / action plans as to how to address the issues. Issues that were common among Groups were; lack of capital to expand their businesses as well as add value to what they produce; lack of portable water in the communities; poor educational outcomes leading to drop out from school by both boys and girls; among others. It is envisaged that with continuous monitoring, supervision and mentoring, the Groups will be able to address many of the issues.

WOMEN DISCUSS ISSUES OF CONCERN TO THEM DURING GENDER TRAINING

6.0 RAINS STAKEHOLDERS MEETING

SfL participated in an annual stakeholders meeting organized by RAINS. The meeting was attended by other NGOs, civil society groups, government officials, opinion leaders and development partners at the RAINS head office in Tamale.

The meeting was to share with stakeholders and other relevant bodies the status of implementation of the Childhood Regained Project in line with its achievements, threats and lessons learned from the project so far and to collectively discuss with key stakeholders on the way forward towards achieving the project objectives and broad goals.

The Childhood Regained Project is aimed at empowering children (both school going and out of school) through education, advocacy work and vocational skills, support women groups through micro credit and strengthen community involvement in decision making as a step to eradicating child trafficking and abuse in the society. On education, the success stories of the School for Life Complementary Basic Education (CBE) were a notable area identified by RAINS from which to draw very useful lessons.

7.0 MEETING WITH TEP PARTICIPANTS

As part of preparations towards this year’s Teacher Exchange Programme a meeting was organized for the Ghanaian participants at the SfL Head Office in Tamale. The meeting afforded participants the opportunity to discuss and decide on a drama performance on the theme “People Moving” for the Ghana Seminar in Denmark.

The meeting served as a platform for the Ghanaian participants to assign roles and practically demonstrate a play in line with the theme. Participants were also guided in the drawing of an itinerary for their Danish counterparts.

TEP Participants During a meeting with Madam Lawrencia-Deputy Manager Advocacy and Gender

8.0 SFL MEETING WITH TECHNICAL COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN

The Management of SfL met with the Chairman of the SfL Technical Committee. The meeting sought to brief SfL Management on a discussion he had with UNICEF regarding a possible collaboration between the two partners in the area of early child marriage which has been a pressing issue in the scope of activities of UNICEF.

The TC Chairman and two staff of SfL paid a working visit to the UNICEF Zonal office for further discussions on a possible collaboration.

It was agreed that, SfL should develop a concept paper on the said area of intervention and submit it to the Gender and Child Protection Unit of UNICEF.

The concept paper was then developed by SfL and submitted to the Technical Committee for their review and submission to UNICEF.

9.0 CBE ALLIANCE MEETING

SfL facilitated the CBE Alliance Taskforce meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to update members of the Taskforce on the progress made in the engagement with key partners i.e. MOE/GES, Management Unit and the Steering Committee of the Ghana CBE Programme and Development Partners on the launch of the CBE Policy and to take decisions on a way forward.

The outcome of the meeting was as follows:

Members decide that,

(1) A reminder should be sent to the Chairman of the Steering Committee requesting a formal response of the Committee to the CBE Alliance’s letter requesting for the launch and dissemination of CBE policy

(2) It was decided that the concept note on the launch of the policy be revised to include more details and to be sent to the Director of the Basic Education Division, and to follow up this, if possible, with an engagement meeting.

(3) Finally to ensure effective participation of the CBE Alliance on the Steering Committee of the Ghana CBE Programme the Alliance should request to be represented directly on the Steering Committee.

Members also agreed that in the event where no positive response comes from the Director of BED and the Steering Committee, the CBE Alliance should go ahead to organize the launch on its own and invite the key partners to participate.

10.0 MEETING WITH A TEAM FROM UNICEF

SfL Management met with UNICEF during the month of July. The purpose of the meeting was to look at assessment and plans for transitioning the current batch (2015/2016) of CBE learners. SfL Management made the team to understand that even though the cycle started late, assessment and graduation will be done in the third week of August 2016. According to SfL Management, arrangements were ongoing to ensure that all the CBE learners integrate into the formal school system.

11.0 DUAL DESKS FOR CBE LEARNERS AND FORMAL SCHOOL PUPILS

The UNICEF Team announced that the organisation had started distributing classroom furniture to the CBE classes and some schools in the Builsa North and South Districts.

12.0 NATIONAL SERVICE PERSONS AS CBE FACILITATORS

UNICEF worked with the National Service Secretariat to get 10 National Service Persons to be trained as CBE Facilitators for Builsa North and South Districts. Despite the challenges encountered in piloting the use of National Service persons as facilitators in Savelugu Municipal, UNICEF still believes that working with existing Government systems would be one good way of sustaining CBE Programme. SfL Management reminded the Team about the challenges but said the advantage of re-trying the use of the National Service Persons with the experience in Savelugu would help ensure that the National Service Persons work up to expectation.

13.0 TRAINING OF TRAINERS’ WORKSHOP FOR CBE MASTER TRAINERS

The Management Unit of the Ghana CBE Programme, in collaboration with SfL offered its 4th initial Training of Trainers’ (ToT) programme for 75 Master Trainers who were in turn to undertake the training of facilitators on the CBE programme for the 4th cycle. The workshop brought together 75 master trainers from the ten Implementing Partners (IPs) made up of personnel from the Ghana Education Service District Directorates across the five beneficiary regions (Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Northern, Upper East and Upper West). The Technical Advisor on Education was the lead facilitator of the workshop. Three GES staff from Accra and one SfL seasoned Resource Person supported him.

Out of 68 participants, who were assessed in their ability to facilitate effectively as Master Trainers for the CBE Programme, 56 (82) scored the pass mark of 55%. Of this total, 10 were IP representatives. All the 10 IP representatives qualified as Master Trainers. This meant that both GES and the CBE Management Unit can confidently rely on 46 Master Trainers as a pool of Resource Persons for future training programmes for CBE facilitators in the country, if the 10 IPs are not to be included. Further, out of the 46 Master Trainers identified from across the regions and districts, 32 of them were outstanding. They can organize ToT for other Master Trainers in future.

14.0 TRAINING OF DTST MEMBERS IN KUMBUNG

In order to ensure the sustainability of E4L activities with regards to empowering SMCs and PTAs in beneficiary districts, the District Teacher Support Team members in Kumbungu District had their capacities built, using the E4L Education Modules that were developed

Participants at the training workshop demonstrated their ability to facilitate SMC and PTA meetings in the District. The participants were taken through the overview of E4L strategies on education; Good Governance and School Governance; School Management Committee; Challenges and Effective Governance in schools; Parent /Teacher Associations and “Child’ and Child Labour”

The DTST members were asked to tell how they could initiate the facilitation of SMC and PTA meetings and to ensure that the SMCs form networks. The following responses were given:

1. We will collect data on SMCs and PTAs from all the schools in the District.

2. We will facilitate the meetings of SMCs and PTAs on cluster and circuit bases.

3. We will work with the head teachers to factor in the establishment of SMC and PTA networks in the district.

At the end of the workshop, the TA-Education encouraged the DTST members to ensure that they have accurate data on SMCs and PTAs so that they will be able to provide them with the necessary support, especially with regards to their mandate.





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SfL JUNE 2016 UPDATES

SfL this month:Posted by Abdul Rahim Tue, July 26, 2016 15:56:09

SCHOOL FOR LIFE’s UPDATES FOR JUNE, 2016

1.0 Introduction

During June, 2016 SfL undertook and or participated in the following activities:

2.0 Graduation of learners

Graduation of CBE learners took place between 15th and 30th June 2016 in all SfL Ghana CBE implementing districts.

The usual graduation teams made up of SfL District Staff and Staff of GES carried out the exercise with head office staff attending a number of the ceremonies across the districts.

Graduation durbars brought together Local Committee Members, parents, Chiefs/Opinion leaders, teachers and the learners.

SfL staff (District/Head office), Chiefs/opinion leaders and the GES delivered speeches at the ceremonies to highlight the importance of education and the need for the children to continue into formal school. The GES officer tested the learners in reading, writing and numeracy for all present to see what the learners have achieved over the 9 months. Certificates were delivered to the graduands to climax the graduation.

Radio Savana and the Ghana News Agency covered three of the ceremonies at Sagnarigu and Kumbungu Districts for the Ghana Today Programme. The Ghana Today programme was aired on the Ghana Broadcasting Cooperation (GBC) on Monday July 4 2016.

3.0 Meeting with DFID/USAID Annual Review Team

A meeting was held between SfL Management and DFID/USAID Annual Review Team for the GCBE Programme on 21st June 2016. The objective of the meeting was to find out from Implementing Partners and stakeholders how the programme is proceeding and to find out Government’s preparedness to provide funding for the Programme after donor funding ends in 2018. They also wanted to know the role currently played by the DAs and GES and whether this can be improved going forward.

After interacting with SfL management the team went to Kumbungu with the DMO to meet the DA and GES and some Local Committee members. The meeting was attended by the Assistant Director of the DA and the Deputy Director in charge of Supervision of the District Education Office. Among other things, the GES Officers listed strategies they are adopting to ensure that all children of school going age enroll in school while they put in efforts to mop-up the remaining OOSC in the District.

4.0 Education Sector Working Group (ESWG) Meeting with Development Partners (DPs)

In June, 2016 SfL participated in ESWG meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to review the status of implementation of its activity plan and to plan for a meeting with Development Partners.

The meeting agreed on the following, among others:

· The need to improve coordination and synergy among NGOs in Education in the Region and the District to avoid duplication and ensure efficient use of resources; and

· The need for a data base of all Partners including the various interventions

Partners also called for GES to review its standards and reset its targets to create fair grounds for students to progress in the educational ladder. The ESWG also used the opportunity to call for support from DPs to carry out its mandate of supporting the Districts to improve on education delivery.

Participants at the ESWG Meeting at the Regional Coordinating Council Pavilion

5.0 CAREER GUIDANCE AND ENTREPRENEURIAL TRAINING WORKSHOP FOR SABOBA CBE FACILITATORS

SfL organized gender training and career guidance workshop for facilitators in the Saboba District. The training was meant for the Female Facilitators of the SfL Committee classes as motivation and encouragement for other females to become facilitators. The training was also aimed at contributing to improve the quality of life and general wellbeing of facilitators, as well as provide information to them to make informed life choices. The workshop brought together 46 CBE facilitators.

Participants were taken through topics on Career Guidance, Entrepreneurial skills, Environmental Health and Sanitation, Personal Hygiene and Reproductive Health.

The facilitators were also educated on Adult Reproductive Health, personal hygiene and malaria prevention and control. Through motivational talks they were entreated never to give up on their dreams.

CBE facilitators During A Gender Training and career Guidance Training Workshop

The female facilitators were taken on an excursion on the second day. They visited the Tamale Airport and the Tamale Stadium. It was a life time experience for them. From interactions with them it was obvious they were very motivated. It is envisaged that they will share their experiences with family members, friends etc., to attract more females to become facilitators.

6.0 Meeting with 2016 TEP Participants

As part of preparations towards this year’s Teacher Exchange Programme a meeting was organized for the Ghanaian participants. The meeting offered participants the opportunity to have insight on the Teacher Exchange Programme and also plan for a trip to Accra for Visa applications.

Participants were briefed on the diversity in culture and lifestyles between Ghana and Denmark. The Participants were encouraged to draw useful positives and lessons from such diversities to enrich their stay in Denmark. They were assisted to complete the visa application forms and briefed on the procedures for visa application.

7.0 CBE Learner Assessment

As part of its activities, SfL conducts CBE Learner assessment every cycle. Prior to this exercise, SfL organizes orientation for selected GES officers who will be administering the assessment instruments.

On the 2nd of June 2016, School for Life organized a workshop at the Holy cross conference Hall in Tamale. The workshop brought together 36 participants from 14 Districts in the three regions of the North, namely, Upper East, Upper West and Northern Regions. The workshop served as a training and knowledge-sharing platform where participants demonstrated their ability to effectively administer the assessment tools.

Literacy and Numeracy assessment materials designed in 6 different local languages (i.e. Dagbani, Gonja, Dagaare, Buli, Likpakpaaln and Brefo) were distributed to the assessors in their respective languages.

The TA – Education, Alhaji Karimu A. Mohammed, demonstrated how to administer the assessment tools as a way of ensuring effective assessment of the CBE learners. The participants were also given the opportunity to demonstrate how to administer the tools.

Alhaji Karim giving a guide to participants on the use of the CBE assessment materials

The training proved effective as participants were largely appreciative of the knowledge and skills gained and pledged to contribute effectively in ensuring a high quality assessment of learners.

8.0 Ghana Complementary Basic Education Programme English Pilot Project workshop

Fifteen CBE Facilitators from Sagnarigu District have had their capacities built on how to handle CBE English classes.

Following the plans to launch the Complementary Basic Education (CBE) English Pilot Project in 15 communities in Ghana, Crown Agents through the Management Unit of the Ghana Complementary Basic Education (CBE) Programme, contracted School for Life to develop and review the Complementary Education Programme (CEP) English Materials that were developed by the Education Quality for All (EQUALL) Project, funded by USAID between 2006 and 2008. SfL was also tasked to organise the training of the CBE English facilitators as part of the preparation to launch the English Pilot Project. The main purpose of the workshop was to orient the CBE facilitators on the methodologies and skills of teaching basic oral English.

Prior to the workshop, the resource persons met on the 18th and 19th June 2016 at the School for Life Conference Hall to orient themselves on the methodology and strategies regarding the facilitation of the CBE English Pilot Project facilitators’ workshop.

9.0 SfL/Tzedek EQUIP

9.1 Inter-District Quiz Competition for Beneficiary schools’ pupils

Following the intra-District quiz competition organized in May, 2016, an Inter-District quiz contest was held for pupils who ranked first in each of the three grades of EQUIP’s concentration. Representatives from each grade in all the 6 Districts participated in the quiz competition. At the end of the contest, Yendi Municipal won the first position in all of P1-P3 to become the best competing District.

9. 2 End of year Test/Endline Assessment

During June, 2016, 30 children made up of 10 children from each of P1, P2 and P3 in 110 treatment schools and 44 control schools were assessed in an endline test. 20 treatment schools and 8 control school pupils from Kumbungu and Savelugu were also assessed under the pilot model of EQUIP. Also, 10 schools from each of Saboba and Chereponi Districts were assessed as refresher Districts. The purpose of the assessment was to measure the rate at which both treatment and control schools have improved upon their baseline scores. It is anticipated that, when the data is fully entered, the treatment schools would have improved by an appreciable margin over their colleagues from the control schools. Pupils’ attainment levels in numeracy and literacy were assessed during the assessment.











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SfL May 2016 Updates

SfL this month:Posted by Abdul Rahim Wed, July 13, 2016 13:48:58

SCHOOL FOR LIFE’s UPDATES FOR MAY, 2016

1.0 Introduction

During May, 2016 SfL undertook and or participated in the following activities:

2.0 Meeting with District Education Oversight Team (DEOT) at Saboba District

The commitment level of the DEOT in Saboba regarding the execution of its mandate continues to rise. At a meeting that was held on 4th May 2016, facilitated by the E4L Team, all DEOT members were present. The main purpose of the meeting was to review their action plans and look at the way forward. Key people such as the District Chief Executive, the District Director for Education, the District Director of the Ghana Health Service, GNAT personnel, Traditional Authority and Private Schools representatives have always made it a point to attend DEOT meetings. This has made it possible for them to carry out their action plans.

The District Director for Education indicated that the Directorate had set up monitoring teams to monitor activities of both teachers and pupils. She however lamented that some teachers were not up to their tasks. Following this, the meeting resolved that punitive sanctions such as demoting a non-performing circuit supervisor to a classroom teacher should be implemented. On the part of non-performing teachers, the meeting resolved that such teachers should be warned and if possible the sanctions from the teachers’ professional code of ethics should be applied.

On the part of improving quality education, the DEOT decided to conduct mock examinations for all transitional classes (P3, P6 and form 3 of the JHS) in the District. It was agreed that final year students of the Junior High Schools should start with the mock examination package from the District. To facilitate the process, it was resolved that the Education Directorate should organise subject teachers to set the questions for the mock examinations, while E4L supports in the compilation and printing of the examination questions. This means that E4L needed not less than one thousand two hundred Ghana Cedis (GHC1, 200.00) to support in this direction.

3.0 CBE District Coordinators’ Meeting with Management

CBE District Coordinators’ meeting with Management was held at the sub-office to discuss, among other issues, staff appraisals, ending cycle 3 of the Ghana CBE Programme and preparing to commence cycle 4.

District Coordinators were taken through the appraisal forms to ensure that a common understanding of the form was established. Areas given more attention were how to set achievable and measurable targets and how to assess the targets; how to assess strengths and weaknesses. It was emphasized that supervisors should engage their supervisees one-on-one periodically during the cycle to assess the targets before the end of the period. This will form a build up to the final annual appraisal. At the end of the meeting there was a common understanding of the appraisal system.

District Coordinators were also informed about the wining of bids to continue implementing CBE in three pilot districts: Yendi; Central Gonja; and Zabzugu and the increase in number of classes for these districts. They were also informed of the new roles the District Structures (DAs and GES) are to play in CBE implementation under the pilot. Monitoring of CBE classes has been ongoing to ensure that the cycle ends successfully.

4.0 CBE ALLAINCE TASK FORCE MEETS WITH DIRECTORS/MANAGERS OF IMPLEMENTING PARTNERS OF THE GHANA CBE PROGRAMME

The CBE Alliance Task Force held a meeting with Directors/Managers of organizations implementing the Ghana CBE Programme (IPs). It was attended by CBE Alliance Task Force members from Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions. The meeting among others, was aimed at providing a broad stakeholder consultation and discussion on the activities of the Alliance with specific emphasis on a national, regional/district launch and dissemination of the CBE Policy and strategies to actively engage the media and other key stakeholders in the dissemination of the CBE Policy.

The launch of the Policy will help generate a wider public acceptance and support towards the Policy and help promote a better public understanding of its operation. It is also envisaged that Government would make budgetary allocation to continue with the implementation of the Policy after the exit of the DFID and USAID support.

The budget for the national launch of the Policy was discussed in line with funding modalities and resource commitment towards the launch.

A five member delegation was assigned to schedule meetings with key Partners including the Director of the Basic Education Division of the Ghana Education Service of the Ministry of Education, Development Partners, the Management Unit of the Ghana CBE Programme and the National CBE Coordinator to solicit their collaboration and support for the launch and dissemination of the Policy.

Participants at the Directors/Managers meeting with the CBE Alliance Task Force members

5.0 GES-ISODEC-VSO TENI II FORUM ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF INCLUSIVE EDUCATION POLICY

On May 12 2016 SfL joined other key stakeholders in Education on a forum organized by GES and ISODEC with support from VSO on the implementation of Inclusive Education Policy. The theme for the forum was: Effective Implementation of Inclusive Education Policy and plan in Ghana – The Role of Key Stakeholders. The need for inclusivity was underscored by the Northern Regional Director of Education.

Hon. Haruna Iddrisu (Tamale South Constituency MP) was the Guest Speaker and he presented the keynote address, emphasizing Government’s continuous commitment to successful implementation of the Inclusive Education Policy in Ghana. He offered a wheel-chair to a pupil (Abdallah) of the Yumba Special School who is physically challenged and an undisclosed amount of money as support to the school.

6.0 Advocacy and Communication Team Meeting

Technical Advisors (Gender and Education), who are members of the Advocacy and Communication Team, joined the rest of the members to develop advocacy strategies and action plans for the thematic areas of the E4L programme. In relation to communication and advocacy, the TAs also participated in the quarterly Media Review Meetings and made presentations on advocacy issues on the education thematic area.

7.0 Finalizing the E4L Annual Report for 2015

The two TAs also joined members of the MER Team to contribute to the finalization of the 2015 Annual report of the E4L Programme.

8.0 SfL/Tzedek EQUIP

8.1 Reading/Quiz Competition for Treatment Schools’ pupils

During the period under review, SfL/Tzedek EQUIP organized reading/quiz competition for lower primary pupils of all 110 treatment schools. The purpose of the competition was to inculcate the habit of reading among pupils and to encourage independent learning among children. The competition was in two-folds (Intra District and Inter-District). Participants who ranked first at the intra-district contest will represent their districts at the inter-district quiz competition scheduled to take place on 7th June, 2016.

8.2 Assessment of Teacher Effectiveness

The level of teacher commitment and effectiveness was assessed in 6 schools of each of the 6 beneficiary Districts of EQUIP. Thus 108 teachers were assessed to measure how effective they were in using the EQUIP methodology in lesson delivery. Among the 108 were 54 teachers from 18 control schools whose performance will be compared to the rest of the 54 teachers from treatment schools to measure the overall performance of the treatment teachers over the control teachers. Overall, the treatment teachers scored an average of 6% points higher than their counterparts from the control schools.

Teacher being assessed whilst he teaches

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