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

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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SfL April 2016 Updates

SfL this month:Posted by Abdul Rahim Sun, May 29, 2016 15:06:26

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

1.0 Four- day refresher training for CBE facilitators

The last training for the CBE cycle, 4-day zonal training for CBE facilitators, took place in all the Ghana CBE Programme Districts in the 3rd week of April 2016 (20th to 24th). The objective of this training was to prepare the facilitators for the last lap of the CBE literacy cycle.

All facilitators participated actively in the training, during which they shared successes and challenges with their colleagues. The resource persons facilitated in addressing some of the challenges identified. One of such challenges identified was children having to go and fetch water sometimes from distant places due to lack of portable drinking water, thereby getting late to classes. Their active participation in group works and demonstration lesson presentations indicated that they were poised to finish the literacy cycle well.

2.0 Negotiation meeting with the Management Unit of GCBE

Of the nine (9) Districts that SfL is currently running CBE classes in, five (5) of them will automatically go into the next cycle (i.e. 2016/17). Four (4) of them will end in June 2016 and SfL has won fresh bids to continue in three of them under a new arrangement to step up the roles and responsibilities of District GES and District Assembles in CBE implementation. This new arrangement is regarded as a pilot scheme meant to prepare the District level authorities to take over CBE after 2018, when donor funding will end. In connection with the 3 new bids, SfL was invited to a negotiation meeting with the CBE Management Unit (MU) to enable the MU to finalize contracts for the pilot districts. The negotiations were successful and very soon contract documents will be ready for signing

3.0 Working Visit of U.S Ambassador to a CBE class

The U.S Ambassador to Ghana, Ambassador Robert Jackson, on 1st April, 2016, paid a working visit to a SfL CBE Class at Tampe-Kukuo. He was accompanied by the Head of the USAID mission in Ghana and other officials. The Ambassador, who could not hide his joy, donated a wall clock and two (2) footballs to the class as a way of showing his solidarity with the facilitators, the learners and the community at large.

Ambassador Jackson Hands over football to a learner


4.0 CBE Alliance Meeting:

During the period under review, SfL facilitated a General meeting of the CBE Alliance. The meeting reviewed activities and performance of the Alliance in the year 2015 and approved the work plan and budget for 2016.

Prominent in the planned activities are the National Launch and dissemination of the CBE Policy and the need to engage Government to make budgetary allocation for CBE implementation in the 2017 budget. It is important that the public is sufficiently informed and educated on the CBE Policy so that it can gain a wider acceptance and support from the general public and stakeholders.

5.0 Gender Training:

Gender training was organized for trainers (ToT) in three Districts (Mion, Karaga and Saboba) of the E4L programme. The training was aimed at equipping the District Staff and representatives of selected groups with knowledge and skills in gender to enable them also train the rest of the groups. The training was also meant to create awareness among the groups of the inequalities that exist in the communities/society between females and males and the need to consciously work to remove the barriers that perpetuate inequality. The training revealed that while women were over burdened with work, men had more time to rest and also that women had limited access to and control of resources in the home and the community. Representatives of the Groups came out with two strategies that they will use to create space for women participation in their groups/homes and communities.

6.0 NNED Annual General Meeting:

SfL also participated in an Annual General Meeting of the Northern Network for Education Development (NNED). The meeting reviewed activities of the past year and planned for the new year. The meeting agreed that, subject to constitutional review, the current Executive Committee be made to run the affairs of the Network for the next 4 months whiles a committee is tasked to review the constitution to make room for a final decision on the status of the Executive Committee.

7.0 CBE ENGLISH PILOT PROJECT

The Management Unit of the Ghana Complementary Basic Education (CBE) Programme plans to launch an English Pilot Project in 15 communities in Ghana. Its objective is to test the effectiveness of a model designed and implemented by the Education Quality for All (EQUALL) Project between 2006 and 2008, to orient children to the formal education system and teach them beginner English, before they transition into the primary school.

The English Pilot project will focus mainly on the development of introductory oral English skills through speaking and listening in the classroom with writing and reading as support skills. It will be based on a series of oral lessons, which are placed on flash cards and DVDs for the learners to use in class. Picture, word and sentence cards will also be used to familiarize CBE learners with English. The English lessons will be in line with the vocabulary and context rich approach used in the CBE local language programme. Each class will be expected to develop some of their own small books and posters in English to enrich their experience. The classes will also be supplied with DVDs and players in which learners will be asked questions related to the English language lessons.

SfL has since been contracted to pilot the CBE English top-up Project in 15 communities in Sagnarigu District. by Crown Agents under the Complementary Basic Education Programme. SfL will be designing the materials for the Oral English programme and also pilot the implementation of the English Project.

It is important to emphasize that the English pilot will not disturb the integrity of the 9 - months mother tongue CBE literacy cycle. The English pilot is a two-month top-up that will be implemented after graduation.

8.0 SfL/ Tzedek EQUIP

During the period under review, the SfL/Tzedek EQUIP carried out assessment of educational infrastructure in some schools in the various districts. The assessment revealed that the majority of the schools have small classroom sizes to accommodate the many school children of the classes. A rather sad revelation that came to light is the use of school mosque as KG for pupils of Bilsitua Primary School in the Savelugu/Nanton Municipal. The other interesting revelation is the lack of furniture in most of the schools, yet, some substantial quantity of dual desks was locked up at the Municipal Assembly of the Savelugu/Nanton Municipality. A follow-up is yet to be made to verify why the DA and GES seem unconcerned about the situation, with specific reference to the locked up dual desks in the assembly.















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APRIL 2015 UPDATES

SfL this month:Posted by ahmumin@schoolforlifegh.org Fri, May 08, 2015 14:29:00

Introduction

The education unit of the Empowerment for Life Programme, School for Life has been integral in the completion of E4L Phase III Programme activities in the first quarter of the year. Technical Advisors for Education and Advocacy and Gender, in particular, have been supportive in the conduct of activities such as training on community entry skills, workshop on tools for identification of target groups, community mobilisation and sensitisation as well as capacity assessment of target groups. Beyond SfL’s engagement in E4L Programme activities, other activities undertaken in the month under review include the following:

1.0 CBE Alliance General Meeting

Following intense advocacy drive by the CBE Alliance, leading to the approval of the CBE policy in December 2014, the Alliance held a meeting in April 2015 to review its activities in the previous year and to agree on some activities in the ensuing year. With the CBE Policy approved, the Alliance recognises the need to mount advocacy on the Government of Ghana to make budgetary allocation to ensure the continued implementation of CBE after te exit of the DFID-support Ghana CBE Programme. Alongside advocacy for CBE, the Alliance has employed the dimension of Regional Education forum with the view to gaining broader stakeholder understanding of the need to address educational challenges more holistically, especially challenges on quality education delivery.

Lawrencia, making a welcome address at the General Meeting

CBE Alliance Meeting in April 2015

Following discussions and review of the CBE Alliance’s activities in 2014, including the on-going work of the Education sector Working Group-Northern Region, the Alliance members in the Upper East and Upper West egions were charged to consolidate partnership with the Regional Coordinating Councils and Regional Education Directorates to get them to lay key roles in the formation and working of Education Sector Working Group in the regions. Other key decisions made include:

Ø Prepare a status report of activities and achievements by the CBE Alliance, to serve the basis for revision of the Strategic Plan;

Ø Monitor 2016 budget cycle and make inputs and engage Parliamentary Select Committee on Education and MoE on budget issues;

Ø Conduct Research on teacher quality and use findings to organize national forum on quality education; and

Ø Hold Capacity building training for Alliance members on budgeting and advocacy.

2.0 SfL 20 years Anniversary Planning Committee Meeting

To plan for the celebration of SfL at 20 in Ghana, the SfL Technical Committee established a sub committee, with three TC members to be supported by SfL Management and Staff. The committee met and proposed a list of activities that will build up to a durbar to be held in October this year. The following activities were proposed to be held for the Anniversary celebration:

Ø Media panel discussion and announcement on radio stations regarding the SfL 20th Anniversary. A member of the SfL Alumni would be involved in the discussions;

Ø Friday and Sunday Prayers in mosques and churches respectively, a week to the celebration.

Ø Games between CBE learners in different classes. Right to Play to be involved in supporting and organising Games;

Ø Facilitation by old facilitators in CBE Classes;

Ø Clean-up exercises in some CBE communities by learners and community members generally; and

Ø Hold the 20th Anniversary Durbar in October 2015.

A tentative agenda was developed for the proposed gathering. It was also agreed that some awards would be presented to categorised lists of people for their immense contribution to the School for Life Programme.

3.0 Facilitators Refresher training workshop

During the month, a four-day in-service training was organized for CBE facilitators of both the UNICEF-funded CBE Project and the Ghana CBE Programme. The workshop strengthened the knowledge and skills of facilitators to ensure successful completion of the 2014/2015 CBE cycle. Topics treated included: setting the environment for learning; instructional strategies; CBE method of facilitating reading; teaching reading using complementary readers; Handling learners with special needs; Facilitating reading lessons for Primer 2; and Developing communication skills of facilitators.

Beyond this, the training offered a platform for facilitators to learn from one another best practices in handling challenges encountered in the classroom. During group discussions, Facilitators demonstrated considerable understanding of the concepts discussed in the training. The 30 and 492 facilitators from the UNICEF-support CBE Project and the Ghana CBE Programme respectively who benefited from the training are expected to employ knowledge and skills acquired in teaching learners in CBE classes to complete the training modules before learners graduate later in June 2015.

Facilitators in the Sagnarigu District having Group Discussions in the Refresher Course



4.0 Negotiation Meeting between SfL and Ghana CBE MU

SfL Management attended a negotiation meeting with the Ghana CBE Management Unit in Accra in preparation for entering into agreements to continue implementing CBE in 9 districts from the next literacy cycle. The negotiation confirmed the number of learners per each district and the final budget figures. Contract agreements are being prepared by the MU for signing to pave the way for the preparatory activities to begin the 2015/16-literacy cycle.

Beyond the indication by the MU that SfL has performed satisfactorily in the delivery of the Programme for the past two years, the selection of SfL to continue to implement CBE in the 9 districts is a reinforcement of the confidence entrusted in SfL as the Lead Implementing Partner in the Ghana CBE Programme.

5.0 Staff Capacity Development

Communications and Advocacy Officer attended a day training workshop on social media for results in Accra. The training was organised by Penplus Bytes at New Media Hub, an organisation that specialises in Social Media usage and engagement. The training deepened the knowledge and skills of the Officer in engaging more with social media to communicate organisational results. the content such as, features of good social media content, target audience analysis, provoking interest and social media metrics among others, were useful in shaping the CAO’s understanding of engaging social media to disseminate results.

6.0 Meeting with Official from Innovations for Poverty Action

During the month, SfL Management held a meeting with an Official from Innovations for Poverty Action to explore the opportunity of collaborating in a proposed research project. The said project seeks to make an evaluation of SfL’s CBE Programme. In principle, SfL agreed to the idea and hope to partner with IPA when funding is made available. SfL will review the proposal on the said project and make an input before IPA submits it.

7.0 E4L Media Review

SfL participated in the 1st Media Review meeting of the E4L Phase III Programme. SfL took the opportunity to officially interact with the media about Governments approval of the CBE Policy. The media were commended for their joint contribution to this achievement. They were, howver, reminded of the need for continued advocacy for Government to make budgetary allocation for CBE implementation.



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SfL, February 2015

SfL this month:Posted by ahmumin@schoolforlifegh.org Mon, March 30, 2015 15:09:51

UPDATES FOR FEBRUARY, 2015

1.0 Introduction

In February 2015, School for Life conducted the following activities.

2.0 Presentation of Learning Materials (Primers) under the Ghana CBE Programme

The Management Unit of the Ghana CBE Programme in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Northern Regional Coordinating Council and School for Life organized a ceremony for the Minister of Education to present learning materials of the Ghana CBE Programme to CBE Classes. The presentation ceremony was a symbolic gesture since the CBE classes for the current cycle have been running since October 2014.

Primers in selected languages on display during the launching ceremony


Apart from the Education Minister (Professor Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang), other dignitaries who attended the ceremony included the Deputy Minister for Education in charge of Pre-tertiary, the Northern Regional Minister, the Regional Director of Education and some Metropolitan, Municipal and District Directors of Education in the Northern Region. In her speech, the Minister for Education recognized the efficiency and appropriateness of the SfL/CBE methodology in fostering quick learning.

The Minister for Education delivering her speech at the presentation ceremony

Selected facilitators recruited and trained by School for Life to handle the CBE learners, received the materials on behalf of the learners.

SfL Facilitator receiving learning materials from the Minister

1.0 Minister for Education visit to SfL-run Ghana CBE classes

Following the presentation ceremony, the Minister and her entourage, together with the Regional Minister and the Regional Director of Education and some other officers of GES were led by School for Life to visit two CBE classes in session. After observing the lesson in the second class, the Minister for Education expressed her satisfaction at the work of the facilitator and indicated a wish to have him recruited as a pupil-teacher in the formal school. To this effect, the Minister encouraged the facilitator to keep up his good work, apply for pupil teaching and consider joining the Untrained Teachers Diploma in Basic Education (UTDBE) course.

The Education Minister asking the facilitator a question in the CBE Class

The Minister having a discussion with the facilitator outside the class, after an impressive performance by the facilitator

The Minister’s visit to the Region, and particularly to the CBE classes provided a boost to the efforts of all CBE players and stakeholders in the Region.

1.0 Meeting with Officers from the Ministry of Education and the CBE Management Unit

An Official from the Ministry of Education and the M&E Officer at the Ghana CBE Programme Management Unit visited School for Life and held a meeting with SfL Management and Senior Staff. The meeting sought to consolidate and triangulate data the official collected from the field on facilitators and other matters related to the running of CBE Classes. At the end of the meeting the Officer indicated that data collected from the field on the processes of recruitment and training was not different from what he learnt at the SfL Head Office. These activities of data collection are meant to assist the Ministry in policy decision-making concerning scaling up the CBE Programme.

The adoption of such processes provides SfL with the opportunity to continue to play a lead role in ensuring adherence to the components and values of CBE.

SfL Management meeting with Officers from Ministry of Education and CBE MU



1.0 Drafting of Proposals in response to UK Crown Agents’ Request for Proposals (RFP)

The Crown Agents sent out an RFP for organisations wishing to be considered to implement CBE in the next literacy cycle. For over two weeks in February, SfL engaged itself in drafting proposals to cover twelve districts. The process continued into March. In one of the drafting sessions, SfL invited the GDCA executive Director to join and participate. The Executive Director’s participation enriched the process and content of the Proposals SfL developed.

2.0 Meeting of the Education Sector Working Group (ESWG), Northern Region

During the month under review SfL participated in the Education Sector Working Group Meeting.

Members reviewed the activities for the year 2014 and also planned for activities for 2015. To ensure that the ESWG follow up visits in the Districts are effective and efficient it was agreed that members should be put in two groups. This way the size of the Team will be manageable, the cost of transportation will be reduced and the Teams will also be able to cover many more Districts at any given time.

Members reviewed a draft status report covering the ESWG activities for 2014 and significant inputs were made to enrich the report. The report will be finalized for presentation to the Regional Minister. A more detailed report will be compiled later to include some activities covered in 2015 and made ready for distribution during a stakeholders’ review meeting later in the year.

7.0 CBE Task force Meeting

SfL facilitated a CBE Taskforce meeting which IBIS hosted. Members were updated on CBE Alliance activities for 2014. Following this they went on to deliberate on a number of issues. These include the need for a review of the 5-Year Strategic Plan of the Alliance; the need for capacity strengthening of Alliance members and a review of the CBE Alliance advocacy strategy.

Members considered the need to diversify the activities of the Alliance not only to be able to raise funds to sustain the Alliance after the Ghana CBE Programme but also to be able to continue to respond to current educational needs. The implementation of the Ghana CBE Programme nationwide is providing for access to education but quality still remains a big issue and so focus should be shifting more to quality. The Education Sector Working Group whose membership includes some members of the CBE Alliance is one platform/avenue for monitoring and providing support to ensure quality of basic education.

In the light of the above, members agreed on the need to revise the advocacy strategy for the Alliance as well as strengthen the capacity of Alliance members to be able to engage in more vigorous advocacy. The above issues will be presented at the National Alliance meeting in March 2015.

On the issue of funding, members agreed to put together activities of the Alliance for the year and invite Implementing Partners of the Ghana CBE programme in particular to pick items that they are willing and able to support. However, for more sustainable funding, members decided that proposals will be written to seek funding from various avenues.

8.0 Sensitization, Community entry and Mobilization of Districts under E4L Phase III

The Technical Advisors for Education and Advocacy and Gender participated in the E4L Phase III Districts sensitization and community entry and mobilization activities. The District Sensitization and community entry and mobilization are part of the start-up activities that launched the Empowerment for Life programme in the programme Districts and communities. The purpose of the District sensitization was to orient, educate and provide information on the Empowerment for Life Phase III programme to ensure that key stakeholders within the Districts and Municipal Assemblies are not only aware of the presence of E4L in the Municipality but that they have adequate knowledge and information on the programme to enable them play their roles effectively.

The community entry and mobilization was not only aimed at sensitizing the communities on the E4L phase III programme, but also meant to gather information on the types of groups that exist in the communities to enable the E4L staff to select functional groups to work with.

Judging from the participation of participants at the District Assembly orientation and the community members it was clear that they appreciated the programme and are willing to collaborate.

The Technical Advisors also participated in 4-day training with other E4L staff on the Technical and Organizational Capacity Assessment Tool (TOCAT) and its application. Significant contributions were made to the TOCAT to facilitate its application. Participants later went to the field to test the tool.

9.0 SfL’s collaboration with Agricultural Cooperative Development International and Volunteers in Overseas Cooperative Assistance (ACDI/VOCA):

SfL provided technical support to ACDI/VOCA under the Agricultural Development and Value Chain Enhancement (ADVANCE) Project by training trainers on numeracy skills development. These trainers were to in turn train Smallholder Farmer groups on how to identify numbers and do simple calculations with regards to their farming activities. ACDI/VOCA under ADVANCE II hopes to strengthen smallholder farmers through numeracy programs that will empower the smallholder farmer, especially women, to get value for money in their farming activities.

The trainers were taken through the importance of numeracy to the Smallholder farmer, number identification, writing numbers in words, networking and marketing. Part of the technical support involved monitoring the activities of both trainers and farmers under the FaaB Project. The CBE Monitoring Unit of SfL came in handy in this respect.

Though this collaboration will last for only three months, it provides an opportunity for SfL to widen its network of collaborators for possible future projects.

10.0 EQUIP

During the month, SfL/Tzedek Education Quality Initiative Project undertook the following activities:

10.1 Refresher Training Workshop for Head teachers and Circuit Supervisors (CSs):

A three-day refresher-training workshop was organized for Head Teachers of all 106-treatment schools and 26 CSs from the six participating districts. The purpose of the refresher was to update the participants’ knowledge of the EQUIP approaches to teaching in order for them to be able to monitor and supervise teachers who are at the implementing end of the approaches.

The CSs and head teachers were taken through the overview of EQUIP, role of heads and CSs in EQUIP schools, effective monitoring and supervision and management of school- community relationship. Other areas of coverage include but were not limited to, Teaching pupils in smaller groups, the use of games in teaching, cooperative learning structures such as mix and match, positioning, yaxy game, and teaching early grade reading.

10.2 Support to District Directorates of Education for Monitoring and Supervision:

Each of the six participating Districts in the EQUIP Programme was given financial support to aid monitoring and supervision. The financial support was meant for supervision in the entire district, though with special attention on the EQUIP beneficiary schools.

This is seen as a way of contributing to quality education in the Project Districts.



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SfL July, 2014

SfL this month:Posted by ahmumin@schoolforlifegh.org Mon, August 25, 2014 17:21:37

UPDATES FOR JULY, 2014

1.0 Introduction

In July 2014, the following were the activities executed by School for Life with funding from DANIDA/GV, DFID, UNICEF and Tzedek.

2.0 NESAR Meeting (2014)

School for Life participated in the 2014 National Education Sector Annual Review (NESAR) meeting and was part of the Basic Education Technical Group. The group made recommendations including the following, which were adopted by the meeting:

Ø Government should make financial allocation to CBE from national education budgets and capitation grant allocations;

Ø District Assemblies should adopt and manage CBE Programmes;

Ø Government should set up schools in communities where CBE is operational; and

Ø Government should facilitate nation-wide collaboration between GES, District Assemblies and Ministry of Local Government for improved delivery of CBE.

This was the first time in NESAR meetings, where such specific recommendations were made with respect to the CBE Policy and the need for government to finance CBE implementation in the country. In spite of this achievement, SfL and its allies will continue to advocate for the government to fully support CBE implementation throughout the country.

During the NESAR, the Hon. Minister of Education, Prof. Jane Nana Opoku Agyemang, presented a Nissan Navara pick-up and fifteen (15) motorbikes to SfL as its allocation of the vehicles and motorbikes support to the Ghana CBE Programme. The receipt of the vehicle and motorbikes will go a long way to strengthen monitoring and supervision in the Project districts.

The Minister Presenting the Pick-up and Motor Bikes to SfL

She expressed Government’s profound gratitude to SfL and other Implementing Partners for their efforts to get thousands of out-of-school children into school.

3.0 District Level Engagements with District Assemblies and GES

Following the successful graduation of learners in the first cycle of the Ghana CBE Programme, SfL conducted stakeholder meetings with officials of the District Assemblies and the Ghana Education Service. The meetings were held with the District Chief Executives and District Directors of Education, GES/SfL Desk Officers and other Officials of the DAs and GES in all Programme Districts, to discuss and further develop strategies towards facilitating smooth integration of all learners into the formal school system. This became necessary to ensure that learners in communities without formal schools are integrated. Among strategies developed by the districts to ensure smooth integration were:

Ø * Provision of bicycles and tricycles to aid transportation of learners to the nearest formal schools;

Ø * Establishment of Wing Schools in some communities without formal schools; and

Ø * Engage organizations working in education to support learners (especially females) with bicycles, uniforms and sandals etc.

SfL Staff in a Meeting with Staff of DA and GES at the Wa West District Directorate of Education

The strategies will serve as action points to ensure smooth integration of CBE learners in Programme districts.

4.0 Meeting with GES/SfL Desk Officers

SfL organized a meeting with GES/SfL Desk Officers, who are responsible for SfL activities in the districts. The meeting offered an opportunity for the Desk Officers to confirm the strategies that were developed earlier.

They were also provided orientation on the use of the placement test tools for integrating the CBE learners. This gave them insight into how to conduct the placement of the learners when schools re-open. The Officers understood and appreciated the tools and this will guide them to better conduct the test and integrate learners based on their performance.

SfL Desk Officers in a consultative meeting with SfL Senior Staff to develop Integration strategies


5.0 Graduation of CBE Learners in the UNICEF Programme (Savelugu Municipality)

Graduation of CBE learners was carried out in 30 communities in the Savelugu/Nanton Municipality.

A combined team of SfL CBE Field Officers and staff of the Municipal Directorate of Education undertook the exercise. The ceremonies were climaxed with the presentation of certificates to the graduates.

Learners proudly displaying their graduation certificates

The team graduated 728 learners (478 boys and 245 girls) as against a total of 746 enrolled (483 boys, 268 girls), representing 98% graduation rate. The project recorded 18-learner dropout (5 boys, 13 girls) representing a dropout rate of 2.4%. This is an improvement over last year’s graduation rate of 97%.

6.0 Education Quality Initiative Project (EQUIP)

EQUIP procured teaching and learning materials (Flash cards, charts and textbooks) for distribution to beneficiary schools for the 2014/2015 academic year. The materials form an integral part of EQUIP strategies to improved teaching and learning. This is meant to promote quality teaching and learning and make classrooms of beneficiary schools more learner-friendly. It is expected that beneficiary schools will procure more of the teaching and learning materials using resources from the Ghana Partnership for Education Grant (GPEG) or improvise by using local materials.



7.0 TEP 2014

Preparations for the Teacher Exchange Programme are ongoing. All Ghanaian participants have successfully obtained visas and are in the process of making other arrangements for the Programme.



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