UPDATES FOR FEBRUARY, 2015
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.
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.
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.
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.
Education Minister asking the facilitator a question in the CBE Class
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.
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.