President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo Thursday launched an ambitious project to reintegrate 70,000 out-of-school children in schools.
The programme, the Ghana Education Outcomes Project (GEOP) which will run till 2026, is expected to get children off the streets of 29 selected districts which have a high rate of out-of-school children in the country.
The districts include Kpandai, Karaga, Mamprugu Moaduri, Cheriton, and Northeast Gonja, among others,
The children would be taken through a comprehensive Accelerated Learning Programme known as Complementary Basic Education (CBE), a nine-month programme to acquire basic numeracy and literacy skills.
They would be reintegrated into Primary One through Four mainstream schools after being assessed by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA).
This was disclosed in a speech read for the President by Mr Yaw Osafo-Marfo, Senior Presidential Advisor, at the launch of GEOP in Accra.
The programme was on the theme: “Getting All Children Educated Through Supports to Schools and Communities.”
The GEOP will be funded with a grant amount of $25.5 million from the Foreign Commonwealth Development Organization through the Global Partnerships for Results-Based Approaches Trust Fund, and a counterpart funding of $4.5 million from Ghana.
The objective of the project, among others, is to improve the quality of education in low-performing basic education schools in the country.
President Akufo-Addo said the project, a first of its kind in sub-Saharan Africa, was designed to use an outcomes-based partnership approach to get out-of-school children back to the classroom.
“The project brings together the Ghanaian government, international donors, social investors, and service providers to get out-of-school children back into school and support schools and teachers to improve learning,” he said.
The President disclosed that Ministry of Education had signed contracts with three service providers with experiences in undertaking outcomes-based projects, after a rigorous procurement process guided by the World Bank’s standards had been undertaken.
“All the Key implementing agencies namely Ghana Education Service, CEA, Commission of TVET, Ghana TVET Service, NaCCA, my own PBME at MOE, and KPMG—the independent verification agency will be tasked with providing vital roles throughout the project’s lifespan, which ends in December 2026,” he added.
Statistics from the 2021 Population and Housing Census showed that a total of 1,215,546 children of school- going age (4-17 years) in Ghana were not attending school, out of which 942,427 had never enrolled in school.
The research indicated also that the Savannah Region with 43.2 per cent, the highest percentage of children who had never attended school.
Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, the Minister of Education said Ghana had over the years made progress in improving learning outcomes in schools and getting children back into schools through policy direction.
He said the outcomes-based approach would bring onboard diverse views, ideas, creativity, and innovations to ensure the success of the project.
Mr Pierre Frank Laporte, World Bank Country Director for Ghana in a statement said the institution would support the project to address the learning crisis in the country.
“We are looking forward for our continuous support to achieve the objectives of the project,” he said.