Wovogu (NR), Sept. 2, GNA - Mr Sam Danse, Country Programme Manager of Oxfam, a British non-governmental organization (NGO), has urged the donor community to target 2005, as a period to solve the global educational crisis that had affected some 100 million children.
He noted that 60 million girls had been affected by the crisis, leading to gender inequality in educational pursuit.
Mr Danse, was addressing a public forum organized by Oxfam at Wovogu, a village near Tamale, on Wednesday, during a community mapping exercise, to find out how many children of school going age were in school and the reasons for school drop-out.
The exercise was collaborated by a number of NGO's, comprising the Youth Action on Reproductive Order, The Integrated Social Development and Northern Network for Education Development (NNED).
A team of parliamentarians from the United Kingdom was part of the forum.
The team led by Ms Linda Mcavan, member of the European Parliament, later interacted with rice and cotton farmers in the Northern Region to learn about their welfare.
Mr Danse said by 2015, all children should have access to free, compulsory and quality primary education.
"At the current rate of progress, we will not achieve universal primary education until 2155, with children across Africa waiting the longest for the opportunity to go to school."
Mr Danse said gender equity and free primary education was vital for West Africa and Ghana's development.
He urged the donor countries to close the multi-billion dollar shortfall in education financing and support the plans of action by the first 12 countries short-listed to benefit from the "Fast Track Initiative".
Mr Eric Duorinaah, Coordinator of NNED said a recent community mapping conducted at the Gushegu/Karaga District, showed that about 41 per cent of children were not in school as against the conventional 30 per cent.
He said NNED was in partnership with Oxfam Ghana, to mobilise civil society organizations to increase resource allocation as a means to achieve education for all by 2015.
The mapping exercise revealed that in the past six years, 25 out of the 37 children enrolled at the Wovogu Primary School, dropped out of school due to poverty.
At Wovoguma, another village near Tamale, 35 out of the 74 children enrolled in the local primary school dropped out of school. Mr Braimah Nayi, a farmer, said four of his 10 children dropped out of school because he was not getting enough income from his farming activities since crop yields had dwindled over the years, while prices of agricultural inputs especially fertilizer, were beyond the means of farmers.
Madam Zalihitu Salifu, whose 10 grandchildren are in school, said many women at Wovogu sponsored the education of their children through the marketing of sheabutter and sheanuts.