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AfriKids calls for increased commitment from parents, communities, to improve learning outcomes

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Sources within the Ghana Education Service have revealed that about 77.58 percent of students who participated in the National Standardised Test (NST) 2022 have below basic proficiency in reading.

In December 2022, a total of one million, five hundred and forty-two thousand (1,542,000) pupils from private and public schools in the country took the National Standardised Test (NST).

The NST is administered to measure the strengths and weaknesses of pupils in literacy and numeracy, which are foundational skills required for effective teaching and learning.

The source, speaking to A1 Radio’s Mark Smith again, disclosed that only 34.74 percent of students who participated in the NST in the Northern Region had below-average proficiency in reading. According to national figures, 58.7 percent of students across the country were below proficient in literacy.

To help students in the Upper East Region improve, parents, whole communities, traditional leaders, and youth groups have been identified as key stakeholders who must actively participate in the teaching and learning process of wards and schools to enhance learning outcomes.

These stakeholders will receive training to improve accountability under the Strengthening Accountability in Ghana’s Education System (SAGES) program.

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 in strengthening accountability in primary schools in Ghana under the SAGES program. SAGES is a five-year agreement worth $50 million.

At a recent launch in Bolgatanga, Upper East Regional capital, David Pwalua, Country Director of AfriKids, a child rights organisation, and lead implementer of SAGES in the region, explained that parents and communities, along with traditional authorities, have a significant role to play if learning outcomes are to improve.

“Our focus will be to mobilise everyone, including parents and communities, to identify the challenges that are hindering our children’s performance in various schools and address these problems comprehensively. This is what AfriKids will be doing over the next five years. We are confident that at the end of the project, there will be a tremendous improvement in learning outcomes.”

SAGES, in the Upper East Region, targets over 500 teachers in the Garu, Tempane, and Bawku West Districts, as well as the Bawku Municipality.

Mr. Pwalua emphasised the need to move away from the blame game and highlighted the program’s efforts to address teacher absenteeism. Additionally, the program will outline specific support systems that traditional leaders can implement in their communities to enhance effective teaching and learning.

SAGES is guided by sustainability, behavioural change, gender equity, and social inclusion. The key principles include effective resource mobilisation and utilisation, accountable leadership, and quality service delivery.

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

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