KEY NOTE ADDRESS AT THE ANNUAL REVIEW MEETING OF THE COMPLEMENTARY BASIC EDUCATION (CBE) PROGRAMME .

Let me welcome all of you all to this year’s annual review meeting and let me express the gratitude of the Management of the Ministry to all off you especially, those that have travelled hundreds of kilometres to be part of this august meeting.

Introduction

The business of the Ministry of Education together with its cherished stakeholders is to manage and produce schools that deliver sustained improvements in learning outcomes.

By this, the Ministry has a responsibility to ensure that students coming out of our schools and especially the basic education level, have requisite skills in arithmetic, literacy and creativity to allow them further their education to whatever level they so desire.  Additionally the ministry has a duty to ensure a smooth and seamless transition from school to work.

To achieve these, the importance of the collective efforts of all relevant stakeholders cannot be said to be over emphasised.

Historical context

The CBE programme is probably one of the oldest interventions that have been used by local CSOs and NGOs in the education sector. The programme was started by School For Life in the northern region in the mid 1990s.

The intervention seeks to address the learning needs of out-of-school children equipping them with basic literacy and numeracy skills in the local language and some skills in knowledge about their community.

The Programme employed the community ownership approach to management where community members act as managers of learning centers, appoint facilitators from among themselves who have the time; love for and willingness to teach using the local language.

The community facilitators were provided with a “token” called soap money and the community supported them with non-financial packages.

Ladies and Gentlemen, It is the joy of many parents to see their children reading the Bible in their local languages in their small community and village churches and places of worship. Thanks to the CBE programme.

  

The programme proved to be successful by improving literacy and numeracy of thousands of out-of-school children allowing them to enrol in mainstream schools.

In a common assessment of the CBE graduates in 2006-07 together with mainstream pupils in classes 3 and 4, showed that CBE learners on average performed 50% better than those in mainstream schools.

Ladies and gentlemen, Ghana show cased the achievement of this intervention at the market place of ideas in 2008 when Ghana hosted the Third Accra High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness leading to the Accra Agenda for Action. This led UNICEF to support the Ghana Education Service and the Ministry of Education to develop a draft Policy in 2009 with inputs from relevant stakeholders.

In 2013, the government together with its relevant stakeholders and with support from the Department for International Development reviewed and finalized the draft Policy to take into account contemporary issues which was approved the Ministry for Implementation. 

Subsequently, a Steering Committee was inaugurated to oversee the implementation of the CBE programme in line with the policy framework.

Policy context and governance structure

The complementary basic education programme for which we have gathered to take stock is one of the most structured interventions that have survived the test of time with evidence of improving literacy and numeracy for learners who are taught under very flexible systems by community facilitators.

   

Over the period of the implementation, the Management Unit of Crown Agents have worked with the Implementing Partners and the Ghana Education Service District Education Directorates.

This programme is driven by a Policy that defines the operational parameters and under the oversight of a Steering Committee with representation from relevant institutions such as:

The Ministry of Education,

The Ghana Education Service,

The Non-Formal Education

Representative of Regional and District Directors of Education,

Representatives of Civil Societies in the Education fraternity Education.

The National Service Scheme

The programme has benefitted from the contribution of the Implementing Partners (District Education Directorates and NGOs/CSOs) that have played active role in implementation.

Ladies and Gentleman, The CBE programme is one of the many interventions the Ministry is using to address equity in quality educational access for all children of school going age especially the vulnerable groups.

Over the medium term, the ministry seeks the continued support of its cherished stakeholders bring together their collective support in technical and financial assistance to achieve the objective of ensuring “more girls and boys have access to and complete quality inclusive education with systematic improvement in learning outcomes”. 

This, the Ministry is doing by:

  1. Harnessing all on-going interventions that have yielded results such as the CBE programme.
  2. Introducing new systemic reforms aimed at positing the sector to focus on improving the internal efficiency of service delivery.

Ladies and Gentlemen, these include but not limited to:

  1. Introduction of Technical Assistance Partnerships to build the capacity of the three regulatory bodies at the pre-tertiary level to deliver on their mandate of to improve school inspection, implementation of curriculum reforms and improved teacher regulatory and management systems.
  2. Reform of the teacher education curriculum under T-TEL has commenced and steady progress has been made. This is being linked with the
  3. Review of the basic schools curricula to place emphasis on improving skills in reading, writing, arithmetic and creativity

   

Sustainability of the Programme

This programme is a home grown intervention introduced by School for Life to address local and community needs as long as there are significant numbers of out of school children.

For the period, 2012-2018 DFID and USAID provided support for the implementation of the programme through local CSOs/NGOs known as implementing Partners. It is also worthy to indicate that UNICEF and Plan International are also implanting CBE in accordance with the Policy in selected districts in Eastern Central and Volta Region. 

As we draw to the end of project support, we have the opportunity to reflect on the progress that has been made in improving access to vulnerable groups such as out-of-school children.

Ladies and gentlemen, We admit that this intervention is not here to stay forever, but meant to address the numbers of out-of-school children in the system and ones we have reduced this to insignificant numbers and put in place measures and systems to ensure all children have access to education participate, remain and complete education, we will no longer continue with the CBE programme.   

It is important to ensure the lessons learned from the programme taking on board to strengthen the formal school system where appropriate. What are the unique lessons of the programme that can benefit the formal school system?

Review of the CBE Policy

We have the opportunity to revise the current policy and ensure that it takes into account the issues around sustainable management of the programme by government and within the systems of the Ministry of Education where there is evidence of comparative advantage and resources.

The Ministry will lead the policy review process and bring on-board relevant agencies such the National Service, The Non-Formal Education, the Ghana Education Service relevant Development Partners, CSOs/NGOs.

Over the next few days of this meeting, I entreat all these stakeholders to dialogue and identify areas that they have comparative advantage for pulling both technical and financial resources to work towards making education a reality for out-of-school children and ensure that no child is left behind.

Appreciation

Ladies and Gentlemen, permit me to express the deepest appreciation of the Management of the Ministry for the immense and valuable contribution of DFID, USAID, UNICEF and Plan International in this endeavour. As I noted the other forms of interventions and reforms the Ministry has initiated, I would like to once again thank DFID for supporting some these core reforms such as the review of the school curriculum and that of the Colleges of Education under the transforming Teacher Education and Learning Project.   

To all our cherished stakeholders and the CBE Alliance, we acknowledge your efforts that have brought us to this achievement. We will continue to leverage on your support to reach out to all Ghanaian children with quality education.

Ladies and gentlemen, on this note, I wish you fruitful discussions and God’s blessings

THANK YOU

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