Kamis, 10 Mei 2012



SIX hundred and twenty four girls in Junior High Schools (JHS) are to participate in the third edition of the annual National Girls camp project being funded by the USAID as part of the Transition and Persistence (TAP) Project implemented by Plan Ghana.

The project aims to increase JHS enrolment and completion rates in 156 JHS’s in 13 districts selected from the Brong Ahafo, Central, Eastern and the Greater Accra regions. It is aimed at exposing girls to better opportunities and prospects in life. The camp meeting would also broaden their outlook and thinking and build the girls' self esteem and confidence.  

The first batch of 312 girls are participating in the 10-day camp meeting, on the theme: “Harnessing the potentials for active participation in education,”. 

The programme is being supported by USAID, in collaboration with the Girls Education Unit of Ghana Education Service (GES) and Plan Ghana.   

In addition, it would empower them to set meaningful future goals and look at how to achieve them to live responsible lives and adopt healthy behaviours.

The participants were selected based on their academic performance, attendance and their overall character in their various schools from the Akuapem North,  Dangme West,  Dormaa Municipality, Ga West, Tano South and  Dormaa East. The rest are from Asuogyaman, Lower Manya, Upper Manya, New Juaben, Gomoa East, Gomoa West and the Yilo Krobo districts.

The focus of the Girls Camp is to inspire girls to enrol and complete their Junior High School education and to also expose them to better opportunities and prospects in life.

The Country Director of Plan Ghana, Mr Prem Shukla in his address said the camp is expected to broaden the outlook and thinking of the girls while building their self esteem and confidence.

He said there was the need to empower the girls to set meaningful future goals and define how to achieve them for their lives in future.

He, however, pledged the continuous support of Plan Ghana in helping children especially the girl child to realise their full potentials in societies, where there is respect for peoples rights and dignity.

“Plan Ghana aims to reach out to children especially girls because we know that in some communities girls are losing out on many opportunities because they are not being educated as boys are often given preference over girls when it comes to education,” he explained.

Mr Shukla added that in some communities, girls are given out to marriage very early which affects their desire to get access to education to enable them realise their full potential.

He urged the girls to remain focused and work hard to ensure that they achieved their dreams as well as set good examples to help other girls in their schools and communities to become equally responsible.

He was optimistic that the camp would give them the exposure to be agents of change when they return to their communities.

A representative of USAID, Mr Luis Tolley, said the organisation was interested in the education of children and was glad to partner with stakeholders to promote quality education in the country and advised the girls to set achievable goals and apply what they have learnt to every aspect of their lives.

The Director of the Girls Education Unit of the GES, Mrs Matilda Bannernan-Mensah, in her remarks, called on the girls to build their potentials and that of their colleagues.

“Recognise what you all can do and combine your efforts to achieve greater heights in your endeavors,” she said.

The Acting Deputy Director General and Director of the Basic Education Division of the GES, Mr Stephen Adu, said the process of nation-building demands the maximum contribution from all citizens hence the need for all to be educated, especially the girl child.

He said closing the gender gap is one of the major challenges confronting the girl child, adding that gender equality in education and training is a potent driver of women’s empowerment and nation building and also one of the most important catalyst of social change and integration.

He urged the girls to seize opportunities that would be provided them at the camp to tap their potentials for their future development.

He said “throughout  the country, safe school infrastructure is being improved and being made gender friendly.The provision of school uniforms, exercise books and other school materials to promote learning are also being provided to ensure that girls in particular are not denied access to education,” he explained.

He was optimistic that the beneficiaries of the camp activity would serve as advocates for the promotion of education for the girl child.

The Girls Camp is also jointly implemented by the Girls Education Unit (GEU) of the GES with the support of the District Education Directorates of the projects districts, the district assemblies, Parent Teacher Associations, traditional authorities and teachers.

The camp activities would include discussions on the benefits of education, reading skills and study clubs, hygiene, establishing and maintaining good relationships and sexual reproductive health.

Others are values, esteem building and standards, interaction with role models, educational field trips, sight seeing, exercise, nutrition and health, games, and vocational skills.

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