The plight and impact of children who are educated under the tree and their teachers should not be ignored. Is it because children from these group are considered the underclass families therefore being educated under the trees is acceptable .
This is irresponsibility on the part of the Education Ministry who is fully aware of this primitive way of education. It is only the current Education Minster who has been bold enough to speak out. The views of writers on education, community leaders must be taken into accounts during the planning stages of any educational initiative.
A good best is to scan media news on education everyday to see if there are any issues of concerns they could work on and not just dismiss the concerns of the general public.
Ghana is now over 55 years however since its independence this primitive form of education is still on going with over 5000 schools under- the- tree education formally recognised across the country. It is not a laughing matter any more but rather matter of grave concerns.
Any family reading this article must act now. Fight for your rights your children deserve treated like anybody else if even you consider your self as underclass. Inequality must be completely be eradicated in from Ghana now. Why is the government allowing a stigma to be attached to our children’s education that is under the tree form of education? What type of educational tier system do we place under the tree form of education? No family should have to endure the humiliation of having to tolerate their children being educated under the tree by 2013.
Is it rather pathetic that many Ministers are educating their own children in foreign schools with better facilities when the majority of Ghana ‘s future young people the economic backup are educated under the tree schools across the country? These are true fact.
The system does even not have a vision to allow young people age 15 yrs to have work experience age to taste working life as part of the school curriculum even if it is a week’s experience. What kind of education are we offering our children when they are having to competing with bright witty foreign students globally? With the discovery of oil in the country poses even more challenges of finding the right people for the right jobs. Do we have the capability and capacity to cope with the demands of oil discovery as all kinds of expertise would be needed.
Who in the Ministry of Education have called this practice acceptable to allow this to go on for such a long time and receiving annual reports from head of these under the tree form of schooling. Whose people should be held accountability for these failing at a strategic level?
Does nursery and primary school children have a compulsory form of health check which is usually conducted by school nurses?
Are there any dental and eye check service health promotion programmes in nursery and primary the country at all? There was one at Accra New Town Experimental School in 1960’s which was started by our late President Kwame Nkrumah however this was short lived.
Is there form any counselling or youth advice centre within schools to help promote right choice of career for our youths?
Are there any school welfare officers in our schools or localities to ensure children welfare are focused due to the complex nature of out society?
What happens to children who are born with Down’s syndrome in Ghana and what strategies are in place in all our hospitals to ensure that these children reach their full potential, as their educational needs are complex?
Is there a Statementing process in hospitals to ensure that community paediatricians assess so that money is earmark for the help they would need in primary school? This processes ensures special needs children are looked after in special schools with purposeful equipments to suit their needs in order for to attain and achieve their full potential?
Are these group considered as Under class in our society so there is no back up for them and their families or respite arrangements. Sadly families from these groups are not empowered in Ghana. This is simply because we do not have a citizen’s advise offices to help its citizens when there is crisis of this nature.
Is there a process of identifying children with special needs in Ghana?
Is there speech therapy training in Ghana for catering for group of children who would need these services? Often some children from these group are sent to psychiatric hospital and labelled as idiots simply because our education system does not screen children to assess every child before they enter primary school.
Is there engagement of parents and teachers regarding the progress of their children each term in all schools including the under the tree schools?
Is there any parent and pupil evening in Ghanaian schools?
How could parents know the day-to-day progress of their children if teacher are not engaging with their pupils and families?
Is there dental service provision in schools as dental care is expensive? Is there a cheaper service available with hospital setting to offer s similar service?
Is there sexual health promotion with the distribution of free condom in all secondary schools? Knowing very well that it is in secondary that many youths practice their sexuality. There are no backup to help schools thus allowing our youths to engage in prostitution and ending up with blocked fallopian tubes and other complication as a result of lack of knowledge about sexual health.
Is there a drug, substance abuse and alcohol abuse health hubs or centre in schools to create the raise awareness and stimulate positive life style in school and the media?
Are there alternative approaches to children education, as some would not like the formal type?
What happens to children with learning disabilities needs and speech delay and developmental concerns? Do we have speech therapy training in the country?
Is there an annual meeting between the community leaders, traditional priests, Church Ministers, general public, DCE and influential people in every community to identify the educational needs of their community? Does Education Minister and her directorate communicate to these groups on how can they then negotiate identified needs of a community? This should be done in every community via the DCE.
Main issues of concerns:
The children of the wealthy often boost of their privileged background however they live in a fool’s world. Why do we have arm robbers and all sort of scam operating in country? This is because this group of people lack the skills needed for the job market. Ghana needs to invest in every child and open the opportunity for every child to reach its full potential?
This is why in the U.K the Every Child Matters outcomes are the key areas every professional working with children & families, all statutory bodies and schools and Universities work with.
They have 5 clear outcomes:
Be healthy – Meaning there should be mechanisms to ensure children receive all their immunisation and health checks to allow them to be healthy.
Stay safe:- Meaning ensuring child protection policy in place in all schools, the police service, churches and all recreational centres where children are involved. The child protection policies cover areas like physical abuse so beating of children is not acceptable,
Neglect: for example: a Government allowing under the tree form of schooling when it is receiving money to eradiate this.
I am so pleased that this year the Education Minister was bold enough to report back to us and has acknowledged that “Under the tree” form of educational is no longer accepted by her Ministry and therefore would be eradicated across the country within her term in office. I would strongly recommend that this should be done within a twelve month period.
Sexual abuse: mechanism in place to safeguard child and young people. There are so many issues happening among some members of the family, uncles and stepfather etc.
Emotional abuse: Mechanism in place to safeguard children suffering from their own parents and extended family or community for example, children being deliberately belittling and insults thrown at them in a negative manner. This is where most parents lack the conflict resolution management. Whether positive parenting classes would be helpful and could be linked to nursery schools and primary to nip such issues at an early stage of a child’s life.
Enjoy and achieve: – Children are happy and keen to study in a safe environment
Make a positive contribution: – when young adult is working and active within the community
Achieve economic well-being: -Working and thinking about life in a positive way, giving something back to the community, being part of an organisation and reaching self-actualisation to start on projects.
Better education must be for all schools and not just cheery picked schools because their heads are more articulate and demanding than the head teachers in rural areas.
There is evidence, which clearly shows that educational achievement in the most effective route of getting out of poverty.
Let us stop the inequalities in Ghana education system and instead empower the helpless and voiceless group of parents in our communities through recognised channels.