250,000 Children Benefit From DFID Programme

Philip Smith, Country Director of the Department for International Development (DFID), has indicated that about 250,000 children have benefited from its ‘Out of School’ programme dubbed, Complementary Basic Education (CBE), which has been piloted in the three Northern Regions since 2013.

“We are happy these children have had a second chance at education and the chance to transform their lives through DFID and USAID funding of the programme,” he stated.

The CBE programme, which is being implemented by the Ghana Education Service (GES), is piloting the programme in 14 districts while project partners are doing same in 23 districts.

The CBE is an initiative to provide opportunities for marginalized children, among others, to access formal education under flexible terms.

Under the programme, children within the ages of 8 and 14 receive tuition from volunteers for nine months after which they are integrated into the regular school system.

At a CBE Implementation Review Meeting with implementing partners at Coconut Groove Regency Hotel, Accra on Tuesday, he stated that investing in good teaching and supporting the most marginalized children is at the heart of DFID’s new global education policy, ‘Get Children Learning.’

According to him, DFID is shifting focus from large-scale resource transfers in education and other social sectors towards technical assistance.

Education has the power to change lives and open the door to better employment,” he remarked.

“Although the programme is in its final cycle of support from DFID and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), it’s evident that the capacity building approach of the districts and implementing partners to work together has paid dividends in order to enable CBE to be sustained by the government of Ghana,” he indicated.

Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh, Minister of Education, paid glowing tribute to the DFID, USAID, UNICEF, among other partners, for their respective roles in supporting education development in the country.

He indicated that CBE programmes have made significant impact in the lives of children from deprived communities.

“I am happy to mention that the country received ovation when it showcased the programme during the third Accra High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, which led to the promulgation of the Accra Agenda for Action,” he explained.