District Chief Executive for Sawla-Tuna-Kalba district, Alhaji Mumuni Isaac Dramani, has moved to address what he believes is the greatest challenge facing the area: a lack of basic education teachers.

Speaking at the Appreciation Day of the Complementary Basic Education (CBE) programme at Sawla, he said the Assembly is recruiting community volunteers as a stop-gap measure to fill about four hundred teachers’ vacancies.

The Appreciation Day was held to reward and acknowledge the efforts of the volunteers of the CBE programme.

Alhaji Mumuni said 100 community volunteers have already been recruited for this academic year as a temporary measure.

He said an appeal to the Northern Regional Education Directorate of Education to post more teachers to the district as a permanent solution to solving the challenge is yet to be heeded.  

The CBE programme which is being funded by IBIS Ghana provides literacy and numeracy classes in mother tongue to out-of-school children who are between the ages 8-14 years before they are mainstreamed in to the formal education system.

He praised DFID and IBIS Ghana for the CBE initiative as it has chalked significant successes in four districts namely East Gonja, Kpandai, Bole and Sawla-Kalba.

A total of 8,950 children have benefitted from the programme since it started in 2013 with 3800 coming from the bole and Sawla-Tuna- Kalba districts.

2,236 students enrolled on the programme have now been transitioned to formal education with 47% being girls.

“But for the programme, the fate of these children in climbing to the educational ladder would have been dashed. I wish to commend IBIS Ghana, PAPADEV and other collaborators for restoring the hopes of these children” DCE said.

IBIS coordinator for the CBE programme, Salia Adamu stated that due to the success chalked by the programme, government has agreed in principle with the passage of the CBE policy to be replicated across the country by 2018.

“The phenomenon of out-of-school children is not only in the Northern Region or the upper regions. It is all over the country and very soon it will be replicated across the country,” he observed.

Sawla-Tuna-Kalba District Director of Education, James Kala Ewontomah thanked the facilitators for their dedication to work even though they were attached on voluntary basis and only remitted with pittance. 

The facilitators were rewarded with bicycles and unspecified amount of money for the period that they have worked on the programme