The right to education is one of the most essential rights for the upbringing and development of children to reach their full potential in order to take advantage of opportunities in the society.
In Ghana, the right to education is recognized in the 1992 Constitution and in Section 8 of the Children’s Act as well as the Education Act 2008, thereby guaranteeing free, compulsory universal basic education to every person.
Giving girls access to schooling is a central part of eradicating global poverty, therefore access to education should not be determined by a child’s gender. About 29% of women are literate compared to 52% of men in rural areas, 71% of rural women did not attend primary education, while the share of men and women with secondary education is 13% and 3% respectively.
Educating girls gives them the freedom to make decisions to improve their lives, which has deep social implications.
A report recently issued by Perfector of Sentiments during the 3rd Cycle Universal Periodic Review reiterated the need for Ghana to redouble its efforts to reduce unemployment and poverty. This, it said will ensure that each and every Ghanaian can benefit from the fruits of the country’s impressive economic growth. The report also called on government to take urgent measures to eradicate child labour and child trafficking using the Ghana Child Labour Monitoring System and link.
Despite education playing a fundamental role in determining Individuals’ ability to access decent labour opportunities, education attainment in the country is extremely low, and with large gender and rural-urban inequalities.
The report added that, the agricultural sector is the main employer for rural women although rural women also have high employment participation in wholesale retail, marketing and tourism, as well as in the manufacturing sector.
The report further indicated that, the low participation of the private sector makes the challenge very tall. The private sector employs most of the trainers however; they are not involved in programme design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the technical vocational training programmes.
The private sector’s lack of clarity hinders the participation of women and young girls in these programmes.
Despite the fact that the private sector employs a sizeable number of prospective applicants, they are not always able to participate actively in the programme intervention. Their commitment to allocate resources (finance and logistics) is limited and thus, the programmes are unattractive to young people, especially for young girls and women.
More young persons, especially girls and young women in the rural areas, do not have enough information on the various programme models and their requirements.
There is inadequate publicity on the government’s programmes, and there is high polarization within such interventions. This makes it difficult for those outside politics or non-political party members to participate in technical vocational training programmes.
Girls and young women also experience great difficulties in obtaining credit, as they are often considered as financial risks because of their perceived socio-economic.
The report however recommended that, there should be targeted measures to ensure that girls and young women have de facto equal access to all levels of education, including by eliminating the direct and indirect costs of schooling, providing incentives for parents to send their daughters to school and building appropriate facilities that makes schools safe environments for girls and young women.
By: Latifa Carlos