Wa, April 29, GNA - A Regional stakeholders forum on education was held at Wa on Thursday to climax the activities marking this year's "Global Action Week" on education in the Upper West Region. The Week, which had the theme, "Educate to End Poverty" has been set aside by the Global Campaign on Education to create awareness on education and bring pressure to bear on policy makers to provide quality education to all.
Among the activities undertaken during the week included, community mapping in the Nadowli and Sissala districts, preparation of jingles and radio discussions. Speaking at the forum, Mr George Hikah Benson, the Deputy Upper West Regional Minister called on stakeholders to identify the negative cultural practices that were affecting education in the region, particularly the girl-child and find ways of eradicating or modifying them.
He noted that the once held view that education was for orphans still persisted in some families and did not augur well for development. Mr Benson said the government saw education as the cutting edge of development that was why it was radically transforming its content and providing structures to accommodate increasing number of pupils. Mr Godfrey Bayon Tangu, Acting Wa Municipal Chief Executive, who is also the Member of Parliament for Wa East constituency, said the school dropout rate of 40 per cent in the region was too high and this needed to be reduced.
According to him, 300 classroom blocks with sanitary facilities were constructed in the Wa districts in the last four years, while 20,000 pieces of furniture were also supplied to the schools last year. He, therefore, said the government had played its part and it was left with other stakeholders to come with their contribution to ensure quality education for all.
A participant, Mr Baduon Sakara suggested to district assemblies in the region to institute annual award schemes for communities that were very serious with the education of their children.
Mrs. Helen Koranteng, Assistant Programme Manager of Centre for the Development of People (CEDEP) said a research conducted by CEDEP in the Wa and Nadowli districts in 2004, showed that early marriages, elopement of school girls, lack of motivation for teachers and disperse settlements of some communities as key and specific barriers to education in the region.