Over 400,000 children out of school - GES report

The report by the GES indicated that about 20% of children are between the ages of six and eleven.

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In view of the increasing cost of education, the persistent phenomenon of school dropout has become a constant worry to stakeholders in the educational sector.

The Ghana Education Service (GES) in a report has revealed that over 400,000 children are out of school.

The report by the GES indicated that about 20% of these children are between the ages of six and eleven.

The report stated that children between 8 to 17 years have lost interest in education and these were attributed to socio-economic and cultural barriers.

Acting Deputy Director General of the Ghana Education Service (GES), Stephen Adu speaking at the 20th Anniversary of the School for Life, a local NGO operating in the Northern Region. he said the over 400,000 children out of school constituted a critical mass whose continuous exclusion from the school system will thwart the nation’s goal on education for all.

“Even though basic education is expected to be accessible to all Ghanaian children, it is unfortunate that we have over 400,000 out of school children in the country. We are denying all such children the opportunity for them to also contribute their quota to the development of this our great nation. There are also situations where fosterage, early betrothal of girls and teenage pregnancy takes a centre stage “he stated.

Mr. Stephen Adu said "there are children who are out of school because of the remoteness and inaccessible nature of such communities. There also communities which even though have schools, they record extremely low enrolment as a result of unfavorable socio-economic and cultural factors."

"In such communities where economic activities are generally at the subsistence level, interest in formal education on the part of both parents and children is not rekindled. In such circumstances, you find such children working as shepherds, commercial porters, street vendors, trotro conductors and laborers in chop bars, shops and lorry parks," he added.

Mr. Stephen Adu, however, commended the School for life for introducing the Complementary Basic Education concept to bridge the gap.

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