Stories from Isaac Akwetey-Okunor
Residents of three deprived communities in the Yilo Krobo Municipality of the Eastern Region have attributed their long economic woes to total neglect by the government, in terms of socio-economic development.
This came to light over the weekend, when ‘As I Grow’, a Larteh-Akuapem-based non-governmental organisation (NGO), donated various personal effects and other farming tools to the communities.
The items include clothes, learning materials such as exercise books, pens, pencils, erasers and uniforms to some of the children who were discovered as serious in their studies.
Farmers who were discovered to be hard working were awarded with knapsack spraying machines, machetes, Wellington boots, and weedicides.
A recent survey and research conducted by As I Grow in the three deprived communities Torgodo, Adebonsera and Obodas, revealed that about 96 percent of the inhabitants are illiterate, and about 150 children out of about 200 do not have access to education.
Speaking to the media shortly after the presentation, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NGO, Mr. Isaac Nana Debrah Bekoe, said his outfit was motivated to donate the items after its findings.
Apart from the materials handed to them, the organisation also hosted a talk show on how they can fight teenage pregnancies and its effects, the importance of girl child education, general importance of education, and how to save the little they get from farming, which were delivered by various team members.
According to him, the chances of the country to ensure that all girls and boys complete free primary and secondary schooling by 2030 leaves much to be desired, since it would be difficult to provide equal access to affordable vocational training, and to eliminate gender and wealth disparities with the aim of achieving universal access to quality higher education.
Mr. Debrah disclosed that education was not only every child’s right, but also one of the main drivers of sustainable and inclusive development.
“While the country has made considerable progress, the education sector still faces several challenges in making the transition to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all,” he added.
Poverty, gender, location and disability all affect a child’s chance of entering and completing primary education. The net attendance ratio at the primary level varies from 65.8% in rural areas to 74.4% in urban areas.
Similarly, only 66.6% of children belonging to families in the lowest wealth quintile attend primary school, compared to 80.9% in the highest quintile. Girls are disproportionately disadvantaged, especially during the transition to senior high education.
To him, despite the considerable progress made in developing and contributing towards the sustainable universal primary education, there is the urgent need for the country to step up the game if we want to achieve Millennium Development Goal 2 (MDG 2) and Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4).
Mr. Tetteh, a native of one the communities, took the opportunity to call on the government and other organisations to come to their aid to overcome all the problems such as the construction of a bridge over River Adabo, a kindergarten and health post or clinic.
Others are potable drinking water, provision of farm tools and agrochemicals, accessible roads, agro-based industry and support, and educational centre for children to have access to learning.