The Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition - GNECC being an education focused organization wish to commemorate the International day of the Girl Child by also adding its voice to the numerous calls on parents and community leaders to make education of girls a priority.
On December 19, 2011, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/170 to declare 11 October as the International Day of the Girl Child, to recognize girls' rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world. For its second observance, this year's Day is focusing on the theme “INNOVATING FOR GIRLS' EDUCATION”. The observation supports more opportunity for girls, and increases awareness of inequality faced by girls worldwide based upon their gender. This inequality includes areas such as access to education, nutrition, legal rights, medical care, and protection from discrimination, violence and child marriage.
GNECC believes that the theme for this 2nd International Day of the Girl Child throws light on what is being done and provided the interventions could be sustained by all, it will have far-reaching effect in improving the lives of girls in Ghana. To mention but a few; GNECC ,ActionAid and Songtaba implemented the Stop Violence Against Girls in School (SVAGS) which focused on ensuring that School environments are safe for girls as well as ensuring that there is a legal and policy framework in place to addressing issues of gender based violence.
Forum For African Women Educationist (FAWE) has been working on the curriculum and teaching and learning materials; making sure that there are Shifts in teaching principles to promote gender equality and girls' learning, such as focusing on education for empowerment, including promoting leadership, agency and self-esteem, or providing specific learning forums where female teachers or girls have an opportunity to use skills, tools, technology, and display leadership.
Promoting Safe School environment in Ghana, a project which saw the development of manuals to prevent and respond to gender-based violence in schools. To ensure that teachers are well aware of the how to teach to encourage effective pupils, teachers and parents participation was undertaken by Plan Ghana.
Aside Civil Society interventions were the introduction of the SARA Communication initiative implemented by the Ghana Education Service in addition to the running of Girls Camps. The Sara Communication Initiative was developed with UNICEF assistance to educate adolescent girls and their parents about the importance of staying in and finishing school. Other issues such as sexual harassment, HIV/AIDS, early marriage, genital mutilation and girls' domestic workload, are skillfully woven into the entertaining plots about Sara and her friends. In addition to the radio series, the initiative has developed animated films, comic books, storybooks, audiocassettes, posters and guides.
There has been significant progress in improving girls' access to education over the years. As we commemorate the day, GNECC wish to call on stakeholders in girls' education to take sometimes to reflect on the sustainability of the interventions introduced because if the interventions are well coordinated and linkages created between the present and the past, Ghana will see a tremendous change as far as girls' education is concerned.