28.04.2005 Education

Northerners urged to see education as topmost priority for development

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Tamale, April 28, GNA - Mr. Boniface Abubakar Saddique, Northern Regional Minister has urged people in Northern Ghana to put premium on education, since it is key to enhancing development. He said, as a result of the policies of the colonial masters which prevented the people, especially Northerners, from realizing the benefit of education for a very long time, many of them had never been keen on education.

Mr. Saddique said this in a speech read on his behalf at a "Global Action Week on Education" Regional stakeholders forum in Tamale on Thursday.

He called on Northerners to wake up and take the challenges in education by embracing it to ensure the rapid development of the area. The Northern Network for Education Development (NNED}, in collaboration with other NGOs, including ActionAid Ghana, SEND Foundation, ISODEC, Ibis and Oxfam, organized the forum, which was on the theme: "Educate to end poverty".

The forum was aimed at ensuring effective collaboration among stakeholders in education to achieve the 2015 target of universal basic education.

Mr. Boniface noted that Northerners could not continue to look up to the government, NGOs and donor countries for the education of their children.

He said: "the culture of dependency, of helplessness and of poverty must give way to a new sense of self-help and independence. If we continue to say we are poor, we shall only be postponing the day of our re-wakening."

The Regional Minister said about 50 percent of children of school going age were not in school and called for concerted efforts from stakeholders to ensure that all children were enrolled in school to chart a bright future for them.

He called on public-spirited individuals, NGOs, the elite and the British government to contribute to the "Northern Education Fund" to push education forward in the North.

He appealed to Northerners to endeavour to maintain peace at all times to benefit from interventions from the government, NGOs and other development partners, especially in the area of education. Mr. Eric Duorinaah, Coordinator of NNED said the NNED was involved in mobilizing and sensitising civil society and people at the grassroots to participate actively in education delivery.

He said meaningful development could take place only when there was good quality education since it enhances an individual status and empowers the people to collectively fight poverty.

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