Bolgatanga, Aug 18, GNA - Girl –child education is facing a number of significant challenges in the Bongo District in spite of the fact that the Gender Parity Index (GPI) showed that there are more girls than boys admitted at the Junior High School level.
The Bongo District Director of Education, Mr Francis Agyere, announced this when he presented a report on the status of the Girl-Child Education at the opening of the Girls Mentor Camp for 2012, organised in Bolgatanga for 150 girls drawn from the Bongo and the Talensi-Nabdam Districts of the Upper East Region.
He mentioned access to potable water and sanitation facilities as some of the major problems confronting the girl-child education, explaining that between 30 and 39 per cent of the Junior High Schools in the District had no access to potable water and sanitation facilities thus making many of the girls to spend part of the instructional time looking for water to drink or to fetch for other uses.
He noted that teenage pregnancy was another major obstacle hindering girl-child education in the District and said in the 2011-2012 academic year, about 27 Students from the Junior High Schools in the District got pregnant.
He indicated that as a result of the poverty level of the area majority of parents often withdraw their daughters and give them up for early marriages for dowries at the expense of their education and future.
He said physical barriers such as the many streams, rocks and mountains in the District prolong commuting of the girl-child to school, which leads to late attendance to schools.
Mr Agyere suggested the establishment of a Girls' Senior High School in the District to absorb those would be graduating from the JHSs because of the parity achieved and appealed to the District Assembly to support in achieving that.
He tasked the District Assembly and other development partners to ensure that adequate potable water, toilet and urinals facilities were provided at all the Junior High Schools to retain the girl-child in school.
“There is the need for the District Educational Directorate to be supported to organise educational programmes during vacations for girls to prevent them from migrating down south,” he said.
He attributed the District's good performance in gender parity to a number of interventions and support from Development Partners including, the Basic Education Scholarship Programme, Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED) and the World Food Programme.
He said to promote girls' education in the district , it was important for all stakeholders to get involved in tackling challenges facing the girl-child education by mapping out appropriate strategies to address them in a more comprehensive manner.
The Camp under the theme: “Empowering Girls through Education: Inspiring futures'', was organised by the Girls Education Unit of GES with sponsorship from USAID. The 150 girls drawn from the Bongo and Talensi-Nabdam are attending the Camp.