A research conducted by Songtaba Organisation in partnership with Vibrant Village Foundation, has revealed that about 2,765 girls in Northern Region dropped out of school as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The research, which was conducted from May to August 2021, indicated that about 1,577 school drop-out cases were recorded at the primary level and 1,188 were recorded in Junior High Schools.
Mr Mohammed Amidu Alhassan, Senior Programmes Officer at Songataba Organisation, disclosed this during a data validation meeting in Tamale.
He said the study sought to identify statistics of girls that dropped out of school due to COVID-19 and established specific situations on why they could not return to school after the COVID-19 break, as well as plan on the necessary support to get them back to school.
Mr Alhassan gave a breakdown of the cases and stated that the highest number of cases were recorded in Zabzugu with 503, Saboba 446, and Kpandai 125 cases.
He said the research identified some areas of policy gaps for advocacy as part of initiatives to promote universal access to education for all, especially girls, in Ghana while breaking barriers and stereotypes in education.
Madam Lamnatu Adam, Executive Director of Songtaba Organisation, called on Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to collaborate with other stakeholders in the education sector to join forces to initiate measures to deepen the sensitization of community authorities on the need to prioritize girls’ education in their areas.
She called on government and other stakeholders to establish more skills training institutions in communities to help train young girls in various self-employable opportunities to improve on their livelihoods. Alhaji Alhassan Mumuni, Legal Desk Officer at the Northern Regional Education Office, urged partners to join the government to establish adolescent safe corners for girls with facilitators in the districts to support them do sensitisation on reproductive health, to reduce cases of teenage pregnancy.
Mr Naapi L. Johnson, Programme Officer in charge of Education Policy at Oxfam in Ghana, called on the government to institute schemes to support nursing mothers who wished to return to school to continue their education.
Mr Azabu Sanday, Northern Regional Director at the Department of Children, advised CSOs to collaborate with the Ghana Education Service to reach out to girls in communities to sensitize them to help them become productive citizens.