The Ghana Education Service (GES) has lamented the inadequate number of basic and second cycle public schools in the Northern Region is causing most children to truncate their education before Junior High School education.
Accordingly, the GES Regional Statistics Officer, Mr. Alhassan Seibu, has called on individual philanthropists and nongovernmental organizations to support by constructing additional schools in other parts of the region.
This, he noted, will complement the existing ones to improve access to education especially in rural communities.
“We’re seriously challenged in terms of getting especially the rural folks to get access to Senior High School education.
“We’re largely depriving ourselves and we think we should wait for the government to come and give us schools; it doesn’t work like that. We need to put up the schools and write for absorption. We need to justify why we need the schools but we’re not all interested and all our children are truncating their education from primary schools and moving into the work field which is not a good practice for us as a region” he stated.
Mr. Alhassan Seibu made these remarks in the course a presentation on the standards of education in northern region and the challenges therein with infrastructure, furniture and teenage pregnancy among the students during the maiden 2023 Regional Coordinating Council meeting in Tamale.
The GES published data shows the northern region 1,355 public kindergarten schools compared 1,061 in Volta region, Upper East 784 and Upper West 712. On primary schools, the northern region has 1,437, Volta 1,057, Upper East 776, Upper West, 713.
“If you come to look at it moving from kindergarten to primary, we have less kindergartens than primary schools and our land is so vast that the kindergarten pupils have to walk longer distances to school. But when you come to Upper West, 712 for KG and 713 for primary, it means every school has its KG”, he said.
Mr. Seibu noted the northern region in the last two years had 553 Junior High Schools which has been increased to 676 but posited there is still more room for improvement when you compare to the Volta region which has 881 public Junior High Schools.
“We travel longer distances to access junior high school. In Tamale metro, (if you take the Yendi road) children travel more than 15km to get to a Junior High School not other districts. And it is worse off if you go to other districts” he stated.
“But if you come to Upper East, they have 566 JHS, primary schools 776, just a few primary schools have not got Junior High Schools attached. In Upper West, 713 primary schools, they have 550 JHS; so if you look at it almost all of them are doing better than us in providing Junior High Schools.
“And off course, that is contributing to our children leaving the region and going out to do business in terms Kayayei and other things” he bemoaned.
The GES Regional Statistics Officer further revealed 20 of the 28 public Senior High Schools in the northern region are situated in urban communities which compels every student to travel to the cities to access secondary education.
Compared to the Volta region, Mr. Alhassan Seibu, pointed out only 19 out of 66 public SHSs in the region are located in urban area.
He disclosed the Upper East region and Upper West have 35 and 31 senior high schools respectively which are higher than the number in northern region which has more districts than the neighboring the regions.