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CARE launches 5-year ‘Strengthening Accountability in Ghana’s Education System’ programme in Upper East Region

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While the Ministry of Education has made significant gains in increasing access to primary schools, the quality of education is challenged. Teacher absenteeism continues to plague the education sector, deeply affecting learning outcomes in schools.

Additionally, according to the results of the National Standardised Test 2021, 50 percent of Grade 4 children are below the basic level in English, and 62% are below the basic level in mathematics.

To improve the education sector, stakeholders in education agree that addressing weaknesses in accountability systems is a key reform priority for improving learning outcomes in schools.

In line with the identified concerns, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), through the Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere (CARE) and its consortium partners – AfriKids, Community Development Alliance (CDA), Crown Agents (CA), Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition (GNECC), and School for Life (SfL) – is assisting the Ministry of Education (MOE) and its agencies to strengthen accountability in primary schools in Ghana under the Strengthening Accountability in Ghana’s Education System (SAGES) program.

SAGES is a five-year agreement worth $50 million.

“We are implementing the program at a national level, strengthening accountability systems at the national level as well as focusing on 17 districts in Ghana. The 17 districts are located in four regions of the north: the Northern Region, North East Region, Upper East Region, and Upper West Region,” said Mohammed Amin Dawuda, Deputy Chief of Party, USAID/SAGES Systems Strengthening Activity, when he spoke to the media in Bolgatanga, Upper East Regional capital.


The five-year activity implementation spans the period from April 01, 2023, to March 30, 2028. 1,254 schools are expected to benefit. Additionally, over 500,000 students are expected to benefit at the end of the 5-year project.

According to Mr. Amin Dawuda, the project is expected to ensure educational accountability and ultimately “improve learning outcomes in schools.”

In the Upper East Region, the Bawku West District, Bawku Municipality, Garu, and Tempane are beneficiary districts.

Mohammed Amin Dawuda, Deputy Chief of Party, USAID/SAGES Systems Strengthening Activity, added that, as part of the project, communities are expected to be more involved in school activities.

“As part of this project, we will be training teachers, developing systems that will help teachers stay in the classrooms and ensure that they focus on their lessons, anticipating that learning outcomes will be improved. In addition to that, we are also looking at involving community stakeholders, such as SMCs and community leaders, who would take a keen interest in education in their districts and communities.”

The Country Director for AfriKids, David Pwalua, said AfriKids had always recognized the challenges within the education sector and was grateful that USAID had offered the SAGES project.

“Today we are excited because we are here to mark the commencement of that new phase. It has always been our aim at AfriKids to help improve learning outcomes for Northern Ghana, especially students in government schools. We see this as a significant milestone that we have achieved towards transforming teaching and learning in our schools,” he said.

Mr. Pwalua said AfriKids would be investing in localized problems and running empowerment sessions to help stakeholders in education get a handle on the situation. Communities, according to the Country Director for AfriKids, would have a significant role to play.

“Significantly, we would also be empowering and bringing communities closer to schools. We believe that accountability in the school system is a joint effort. Parents will have to play their role in ensuring accountability. Traditional authorities have a huge role to play in ensuring that our school systems and all actors that are involved in school life are accountable, as well as the Ghana Education Service.”

According to Mr. Pwalua, AfriKids’ role would be to mobilize all the actors in an attempt to improve learning outcomes in the beneficiary districts.

SAGES is guided by sustainability, behavioral change, gender, equity, and social inclusion. The key tenets are effective resource mobilization and utilization, accountable leadership, and quality service delivery.

The Upper East Regional Minister, Stephen Yakubu, in a speech read on his behalf, wondered why, despite the sheer number of stakeholders in the education sector, including teachers, learning outcomes were lagging.

Mr. Yakubu, through the speech, surmised that the problem lies in ineffective monitoring systems at the school and community levels. As such, Mr. Yakubu commended the objectives of the SAGES project and promised full government support.

He restated the government’s interest in education, highlighting renewed investments in Free SHS, TVET, and STEM as indications of the government’s commitment to basic level education.

Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana

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