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Sunday, February 5, 2023

“We cannot find the girls” – Plan International- Ghana bemoans gender gap in technical schools

Gender specialist at Plan International – Ghana Lillian Bruce has expressed disappointment in the low number of female students acquiring technical education in Ghana. Mrs Bruce was speaking in a two-day workshop organized by Plan International – Ghana for staff and selected Non-Governmental Organisations in the country under the theme, “Building Capacity of Staff, Local NGOs in Gender programming and influencing”, in Elmina in the Central region.

According to her, society has been the major cause of this menace, making sure that girls are not encouraged enough to take up technical training.

“When children complete school and they want to choose a career, that’s when you hear, don’t do this course, you are a lady, don’t do carpentry, so you don’t see many females, when you get into our technical schools,” she lamented.

Madam Bruce further explained that as part of efforts to bridge the gap, Plan International Ghana has an initiative to provide one year of free internet access to one thousand (1000) female students in two (2) selected technical schools in Koforidua in the Eastern region.

“There are two schools we are working with Koforidua Technical Institute (KOTECH) and Hyundai KOICA Technical Institute, in all, we have not reached the required number of female students, such a proposal is there, and we can’t find the girls, they are not there, “Because somebody has discouraged them from going to technical schools”, she bemoaned.

According to records from Plan International – Ghana, out of two thousand six hundred and thirty-seven (2637) students, four hundred and twenty-six are female in KOTECH.

Hyundai KOICA also recorded eight (8) females out of a total of eighty-three (83) students in the school, representing 16.1% and 10.6% of female students’ representation in both schools respectively. Only 43% of girls are available in these schools for the Plan initiative of free internet.

In 2017, President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo launched his flagship educational policy, “Free Senior High School” (Free SHS), it is a government initiative to provide free and accessible education to every Ghanaian who is qualified to attain second-cycle education. This saw the increase in enrollment of girl students into secondary schools.

Information from the 2020 Gender report by the Global Education Monitoring Report corroborated the claims by Plan International – Ghana as it revealed a stack reality of disparity in some subjects especially the engineering and technical fields with a staggering male dominance in over one hundred countries of the world.

“Globally, the percentage of females studying engineering, manufacturing and construction or ICT is below 25% in over two-thirds of countries”, as reported by the Global Education Report.

Another report from United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), girls are at disadvantage in so many ways when it comes to acquiring education.

“Many girls do not have the chance to get an education mainly because of poverty, gender and long distances to school.”

Plan International, is an international non-governmental organisation that works in partnership with children, families, and communities, to develop sustainable ways to end the cycle of poverty, they have been operating in Ghana for 29years since 1992 reaching communities (most deprived rural areas).

By: Collins Nsiah Kwabena / www.zamireports.com / Elimina.


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