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Ghana Complementary Basic Education


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Ghana has made giant strides in extending basic education in numeracy and literacy over the past decade to the vast majority of the population. But many poor children (particularly girls) and those in rural areas are still left out, with around 650,000 children currently out-of-school. Recognising this, the Ghana government has prioritised the roll out of education for excluded children – known as complementary basic education (CBE). Over a period of just nine months, children aged 8-14 who are not in school are taught basic literacy, numeracy and life skills in their mother tongue using accelerated literacy strategies contextualised to their community. They are then ready to join primary school for the first time.

To accelerate progress, DFID has contracted us to manage the grants for the roll out of a coherent, standardised CBE programme for 120,000 out-of-school children based on best practices in the education sector. We will disburse around £8 to 10 million worth of grants to local partners to deliver CBE to children in the most remote and hard to reach areas of the country. Because relatively low numbers of girls access education and girls face significant socio-cultural barriers to education in some areas, there will be a special focus on reaching girls.

We will:

  • identify and contract suitable partners, and disburse funds to them
  • audit and monitor the delivery of grants
  • provide value for money: minimise admin costs,
  • maximise cost effectiveness
  • train grantees to help them deliver high quality results

The project will also strengthen the evidence base on CBE and out-of-school children, refine CBE into a more standardised approach and build the long-term capacity of the Ghana Education Service to deliver CBE.

We’ll work closely with Ghana’s Education Service throughout the programme in order to develop the policy, implementation, procurement and budgetary framework for CBE. When the project ends in 2015, the Ghana government and its partners will be in a strong position to run the CBE programme effectively.

Building on success

CBE has been delivered by NGO’s in Ghana, funded by donor agencies. DFID and UNICEF have been key players through its support for School for Life, an NGO that has achieved remarkable results with CBE. School for Life has been operational in northern Ghana since 1995 and has helped over 140,000 children attain basic literacy and numeracy skills.

Since 2008, DFID has given 12,000 out-of-school children literacy and numeracy skills; 80 per cent of these have joined the formal school system and 480 teachers are now trained to use the programme’s innovative pedagogy. The new project will build on this success to coordinate a nationwide programming.

As Ghana works towards the UN Millennium Development Goals set for 2015, the roll out of this CBE programme will help move the country closer to meeting MDG 2 (universal primary education) and MDG 3 (gender equality). It will also provide a model for other African Countries to emulate in order to reach the last 5-10% of out of school children.

Latest project news

We played a major role in the organisation of the successful high-profile launch of Ghana’s Complementary Education Programme (CBE) in October 2013. 
Ghana CBE launch
We have been running the Management Unit (MU) of the DFID-funded initiative throughout 2013, in preparation for the official launch of the first cycle of CBE classes on October 24, which was marked by an event held in Kintampo, in the Brong-Ahafo region of Ghana.

Ghana CBE launch
Ghana’s Minister of Education, Professor Jane Nana Opoku Agyemang , the Director General of Ghana Education Service, Benedicta Naana Biney, and the DFID Ghana Head of Office, Sally Taylor, all championed the importance of CBE at the launch, and its role in raising the national literacy and numeracy rates. 

Sally Taylor said, “I am pleased to be involved in another important step towards ensuring that every Ghanaian child gets an opportunity to go to school and become the people they have the potential to be.”

We staged a number of radio interviews and call-in programmes on the launch day, held in local languages and in English, which generated great word-of-mouth among the target audiences of the programme. 
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