Franklina Nyamekye (14) in her class room at Odoben A.M.E. Zion missionary school in Asikuma Odoben Brakwa District, Central Region, Ghana on 7 September 2016. With UNICEF support, the school has introduced strong sensitization programs on sanitation and anti-teenage pregnancy.

The Education Minister, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum has lauded the ‘Better Life for Girls’ Project by the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) in partnership with government and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

According to him, the investment made in the Ghanaian children has the potential of not only transforming the lives of the beneficiaries but their societies and the country at large.

Speaking at the closing and dissemination event for the BLG Project, the Education Minister said the five-year project which ended in March 2021, has complemented government’s effort in improving the girl-child education by keeping them in school and preventing early child marriage in Ghana.

“The initiative has given young ladies the opportunities to share their views, concerns and other activities that have been done through this project. We are very grateful to the Government of Korea and KOICA for the great job done and for the investment made in Ghanaian children” he said.

Students revising in a classroom at St Paul’s Anglican Basic School in Accra, Ghana on 23 September 2016.

Dr Adutwum indicated that the BLG Project and the Free Senior High School which started in the same year have seen a massive growth in the enrollment of girls in school. He believes more investments in such direction will bridge the gender inequality in education.

“It is interesting to note that with the advent of the free Senior High School, parents don’t have to make a choice between sending the boy to school instead of the girl. Consequently, the gross enrolment ratio for girls at the secondary level has grown during the last four years” Education Minister said.

The $5.2 million “Better Life for Girls” (BLG) project which has come to an end equipped adolescent girls in Ghana with knowledge, skills and created an enabling environment to make informed decisions. It targeted girls in the Northern, Savannah, North-East, Oti and Volta Regions to increase access to their learning and skills development opportunities.

On her part, UNICEF Representative in Ghana, Anne-Claire Dufay also said the strategic partnership has enabled many vulnerable adolescent girls to stay in school through targeted interventions including facilitating the re-entry to school of young mothers after childbirth.

Doris and Doris; all first year students at Amankwakrom RC JHS ride bicycles to school because they live several kilometres away in Teacher Korpe.

Giving further details of the key interventions made through the BLG initiative, Ms. Dufay revealed over one million adolescent girls were reached through the Girls’ Iron Folate Tablet Supplementation (GITS) Programme which 26 resulted percent reduction in the rates of anemia among the girls who the IFA supplements.

She also revealed that more than 2,000 girls have benefitted from financial, literacy and numeracy training and over 500 girls gained new entrepreneurship skills through targeted local apprenticeships.

While celebrating the modest successes chalked through the BLG Project, Country Director of KOICA reiterated their commitment to supporting Ghana’s education sector by expanding opportunities for improved basic and tertiary education as well as technical and vocational training along with policy development and advocacy.

He further revealed that KOICA will soon provide grants for the implementation of a new project aimed at consolidating the gains made through the ‘Better Life for Girls’ Project.

“Beyond the BLG project, KOICA is continuing to support the education sector with the provision of a new grant in collaboration with Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service, for the ‘Promotion of Girls’ Competency in Mathematics and Science with Gender-Responsive Pedagogy’ project which aims to improve the academic performance and transition rates of girls in selected districts within the Central and Eastern regions” Mr Kong indicated.

The project is expected to begin in the latter quarters of 2021 and it is expected to improve Mathematics and science education as well as mentor Junior High School girls in public schools in the beneficiary regions in Ghana.