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02.09.2004 Education

Poverty is obstacle to education in Northern Region

By GNA

Wovogu (NR), Sept 2, GNA - Some parents at Wovogu and Wovoguma communities in the Tamale Metropolis have attributed high school dropout rate in the area to poverty and poor school infrastructure.

They said the removal of subsidies on agricultural inputs by the government had deprived many farmers any source of income to take care of their families, especially their children in school.

Mr Braimah Nayi, a father of 10 who had four of his children drop out of school, said because of the poor fertility of the soil, crop yields had been dwindling on yearly basis while prices of agricultural inputs especially fertilizers are beyond their means.

He was speaking at a community mapping exercise to find out how many children of school going age are in school, those out of school and the reasons assigned for the dropout.

The forum offered the visiting parliamentarians from the United Kingdom the opportunity to learn at first hand the problems of education in the Northern Region and Ghana at large.

Ms Linda Mcavan, Member of the European Parliament and Leader of the European Parliamentary Labour Party who led the UK delegation, were in the Northern Region to interact with rice and cotton farmers on issues concerning their welfare.

Mr John Bercow, Member of Parliament for Buckingham and shadow Secretary of State for International Development, Sarah Kline, Head of the UK and European Union Government Relations of Oxford and Tom Brake, MP for Carshalton and Wallington and Shadow Secretary of State for International Development for the Liberal Democrat Party are other members of the delegation.

The Youth Action on Reproductive Order (YARO) in collaboration with Oxfam Ghana, Integrated Social Development (ISODEC) and Northern Network for Education Development (NNED) all NGOs carried out the exercise. The exercise showed that for the past six years at Wovogu, 37 children were enrolled at the Wovogu Primary School and 25 of them dropped out. At Wovoguma 74 children were enrolled in the school during the same period and 35 of them dropped out.

Madam Zalihitu Salifu, who has 10 of her grandchildren at the school, said many women in the area used to depend on the sales of sheabutter and sheanuts to cater for their children but poor yields in the past years had reduced their income.

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