A total of 7,125 out of school children from the Upper West and Brong Ahafo regions have been enrolled unto the Complementary Basic Education (CBE) Programme to enable them acquire basic literacy and numeracy skills. Out of this, 6,750 of them are from six districts of the Upper West Region, namely; Sissala West, Sissala East, Daffiama-Bussie-Issa, Nadowli-Kaleo, Jirapa and Wa East Districts with the remaining 375 coming from the Nkoranza North District of the Brong Ahafo region. The beneficiaries, who are between eight and 14 years, would after completing the nine months free CBE cycle, be assessed and promoted to either primary three or four based on their performance.
The CBE is a Government of Ghana programme being implemented by the Professional Network Association, Ghana (ProNet North) with funding from the United Kingdom (UK) Department of International Development (DFID). Speaking at the launch of the programme in Bulu, in the Sissala West District, Mr. Martin Dery, Director, ProNet North, said 775 of the learners were from the District, out of which 75 were from the Bulu Community. He said the programme had three main objectives: increasing access to the complementary education programme for out of school children; and strengthening the Government of Ghana’s leadership in implementing CBE effectively; as well as strengthening the evidence-based on what worked and what did not.
The ProNet North Director said the facilitators of the programme were volunteers from the beneficiary communities who would be using the local language to teach the children. He therefore asked the District Assemblies, District Education Directorates of beneficiary districts and community members to support them to carry out their duties diligently for it to inure to the benefit of the children. Madam Stella Dogber, a Deputy Director at the Sissala West District Education Directorate, described the programme as one that could help the nation to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) on education.
She therefore appealed to parents not to force the female children who were out of school into marriage, but rather encourage them to grab the opportunity to go back to school. She pledged the support of the District Education Directorate to facilitators to enable them to deliver to expectation. Kuoro Barecheh Nlowie Baninye, Acting President of the Buwa Traditional Council, stated that education was a powerful tool that could change the world; so efforts such as the CBE’s needed the support of all, including traditional rulers. A School for Life (SfL) impact evaluation study, in 2009, suggests that CBE providers have made impact in relation to improving Gross Enrolment Rate (GER) and Net Enrolment Rate (NER) at the regional and district levels because of their innovative instructional model based on phonetic and syllabic approaches to literacy.