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.
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.