Education has always proven to be a very important tool for development in any country. In Ghana, however, although the government has taken steps to ensure the realizations of quality education, there is still a lot of work to be done as the Ghanaian educational sector is facing several challenges, especially in rural areas.
As many other rural villages in the North District of Ghana, the five villages experience their own obstacles in the educational sector. Without looking at the management side, the basic facilities for children to access the education are very poor and deplorable. Lack of school building and its facilities, lack of human resources to fill the minimum criteria of the school, long-distance between homes and school, lack of books/resources, library facilities, computer lab, etc. have turned out to be the obstacles for communities in rural areas in Ghana.
Most of the existing schools are not well maintained; therefore, the buildings are not safe enough for children and teachers to conduct the teaching and learning process. Some of the schools have no room for the basic school components to manage the resources and its facilities. The distance between school and home is also a challenge. It is relatively long and no means of transportations are available to facilitate the students to school. All the students from kindergarten to primary school spend hours to go to school by foot.
Challenges In Rural Education
Poor classroom and furniture condition in the schools
Inadequate textbooks, reading and teaching/learning materials, education and sports equipment
Lack of library and computer lab especially in remote areas
High rate of female dropout after primary level
This situation undoubtedly holds back the pace of educational development in Ghana today and results in a huge gap between children from rural and urban areas in terms of quality education. We were hit with this reality when I visited a small rural community called Jerusalem with its inhabitants, less than 6000 people.
The only school there is Nyamebekyere M/A School, which was established in 1988. Since its inception, it has never had a Junior High School block. Classes 3 and 4, as well as 5 and 6 were combined into one classroom due to lack of classroom spaces and inadequate teachers - which shows best the enormous challenges with education in rural Ghana.
When schools in rural communities have people who see teaching only as a source of livelihood rather than a noble chosen profession, then it is a troubling phenomenon.
Although Ghana's constitution stipulates that: “the state shall provide educational facilities at all levels in all the regions of Ghana, and shall, to the greatest extent possible make these facilities available to all citizens”, this is still mere rhetoric rather than reality, especially where children in rural areas are concerned.
The advantage of the city or urban education far outweighs that of rural areas. The urban educational system also has its challenges, but problems in rural areas are more challenging.
The major concern of unequal access to quality education or disparity of the rural areas against the urban one has marginalized the children in rural areas who also want to have access to the same system and standard of education as it is in the urban settings.
Students in the city are exposed to many social and environmental happenings in their surroundings and daily interactions making them far better in terms of depth of knowledge and academic performance than rural students.
Education in rural areas suffers poor planning and defective policy implementation characterized by low enrolment and consistent abysmal performances.
Unequal distribution of education infrastructure have lead to a disparity that can solely be addressed if politics are taken out of educational planning and a national policy direction that dictates to policymakers what is needed to be done and not allowing them to do as they wish.
Enough funds must be voted towards quality education with serious monitoring thus making the entire nation benefit from the system. Considering this, we want to make a passionate appeal to everyone through this platform for donation to help Nyamebekyere M/A School in the under-mentioned areas:
Lack of teaching and learning materials
Sandals and similar
Infrastructure (such as the construction of a Junior High School block to enable continuity for those who finish primary six, classroom furniture, a medical facility, library)
Education provides people with the knowledge and skills to help improve economic growth and reduce poverty. Children must therefore not be denied the quality and equal education system.
We hope to have a very good, positive and encouraging response and urge all stakeholders to lend their support to help address some of the aforementioned problems which affect the pace of educational development in rural Ghana
No single organization has the resources and expertise to sustainably address the world’s most pressing problems. We believe strongly in the power of partnerships and collaboration to create meaningful, lasting impact. By working with international aid agencies, governments, the private sector, foundations, civil society organizations and other NGOs with the same objectives, we aim to transform lives in dozens of rural children through education.
Help us advocate for quality education for Ghanaian children and overall held boost the education system in Ghana. Learn more at http://www.csagchildghana.org/csag/.
Emmanuel A. Benedict is the Director of Child Survival Aid Ghana (CSAG), a registered non-profit and non-governmental organization established to help the education of underprivileged children in Ghana. As an organization, they focus on providing quality education to children in rural areas, to inspire their minds and improve lives by providing access to educational facilities and learning resources.
You can find them on Twitter (@csagchild), as well as Instagram and Facebook (@csagchildghana). For more information, Emmanuel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.