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
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.
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.